A Bayfield, Wis. pooch turned 20 this weekend, collecting over 1,000 cards, a watercolor painting, a half-filet of whitefish and a vanilla ice cream cone.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that Schoep, a shepherd mix, and owner John Unger celebrated Schoep's birthday in low-key fashion on Saturday despite achieving fame in the Northland last summer. The pair became an Internet sensation last July after Bayfield photographer Hannah Hudson took a heartwarming photo of Unger and Schoep wading in Lake Superior, Schoep's head resting gently on Unger's chest. Hudson posted the photo to her Facebook page, and it garnered 1.8 million views within four days.
Schoep is arthritic, blind and hard of hearing, but Unger says his medical condition has remained about the same -- not to mention, he's a cold-weather dog, so it's safe to say Schoep had a great winter.
A "happy birthday" post on the Schoep and John Facebook page saw over 30,000 likes within six hours after it appeared on Saturday. Along with his birthday cards, Schoep received 25 gifts, including the watercolor of him and Unger adapted from the Lake Superior shot.
Unger said he'd be preparing at least a half-filet of fresh whitefish from Bodin Fisheries in Bayfield for Schoep, and he planned to share a vanilla ice cream cone with him.
Schoep and John on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/Schoep.and.John?fref=ts