After Touching Hearts of Many, Arthritic Dog Dies

An arthritic dog that found relief by floating in water and captured the hearts of the nation has died. INSIDE EDITION reports on the sad news of a dog and its compassionate owner.

It's the photo of an old dog suffering from arthritis being cradled in the water by his owner.  

Now, some sad news. The German Shepherd mix named Schoep has died. His owner, John made the annoucement to his 209,000 Facebook followers with this message, "I breathe but I can't catch my breath. Schoep passed yesterday."

Seventeen-year-old Schoep struggled to walk. So, every day, John carried his cherished pet into Lake Superior in Wisconsin for a dip and a remarkable thing happened. The buoyancy of the water made the old dog feel young again.

Schoep had been an abused pup when he was rescued by John at an animal shelter in 1996. John made sure he did everything he could to make his old dog's sunset years more pleasant.

John documented the last month of Schoep's life with photos and poignant captions.  

"July 8: Schoep is having a great day.  We walked the beach. Schoep sniffed all and now he's taking a much deserved nap."

"July 12: Sublime."

"July 14: Yesterday was hard on the old boy, today a bit better...We just returned from a swim."
"July 15: A fantastic day we had. Schoep falling asleep in the sunshine."

The final post was a simple image of Schoep's paw print.

When INSIDE EDITION spoke with John last year, he knew his time with his best friend was coming to an end when he said, "If Schoep were to pass away tonight, of course I'd be sad. But I'd be also just as joyous as I am today because of the gift Schoep has given, apparently the world."