Dog that gained widespread following has died

An aging dog whose restful repose in Lake Superior while in the arms of his owner captured widespread attention has died.

Schoep and owner John Unger, of Bayfield, became Internet celebrities last summer after a photographer captured the two relaxing in the soothing water. Schoep, who was arthritic, blind and hard of hearing, rested his head peacefully on Unger’s shoulder.

Within four days of posting the photo on Facebook, it had 1.8 million views.

Unger said on the Facebook page he shares with Schoep that the 20-year-old dog died on Wednesday. News of the dog’s death generated nearly 19,000 comments as of Friday morning.