Schoep's owner discusses loss of best friend

11:32 AM, Jul 21, 2013   |    comments
Photo courtesy: Hannah Stonehouse Hudson/ StonehousePhoto.com
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BAYFIELD, Wis. - Bayfield's beloved dog passed away this week, drawing response from all over the Northland and all over the world.

Schoep, 20, and his owner John Unger have spent the last year in the spotlight after a picture of Unger holding Schoep in the waters of Lake Superior went viral on social media.

The cause and effect of a viral photograph turned a near tragedy into a miracle for Unger.

"It has turned into this community of everybody helping each other in time of need," Unger said.

An influx of donations and support for Schoep allowed medical treatment, giving him another year with his owner.

"They gave us more time to be with each other and I can't put that into words," Unger said.

Almost one year after the original picture was taken, Schoep died with Unger holding him until the very end.

"It was the best last day I could have ever wanted with him because it was the perfect day. It was absolutely the perfect day," Unger said.

They spent their last days in the lake that gave them the extra year.

Unger says he will always remember his best friend and the picture that symbolized their love.

Unger and Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, the woman who took the famous photo, have started Schoep's Legacy Foundation. All the donations go to help other owners and their pets.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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