Millions were touched when they saw this picture of 'Schoep' and his best friend soothing his arthritic pain to help him feel better and fall asleep.  If there is a heaven, John Unger has a one way ticket!

This iconic picture of Schoep (named after a popular Wisconsin brand of ice cream) and his best friend John Unger was taken at Lake Superior last year. Schoep, who turned 20 last month, passed away Wednesday.  The photo was seen by over 2 million in just one week.

John adopted Schoep when he was only 8 months old and showed signs of abuse as he cowered in the back of his cage.  He spent countless hours gaining Schoep's trust and when John's fiancée left him, he said he plunged into a suicidal depression, and the pup pulled him out.

To be honest with you, I don't think I'd be here if I didn't have Schoep with me. He just snapped me out of it. I don't know how to explain it...I just want to do whatever I can for this dog because he basically saved my a--.

Late in Schoep's life he developed a very painful degenerative arthritis. John did as much as he could medically but just couldn't afford all the daily medication and treatments that cost as much as $200 each time.  So instead, he would carry his best friend into Lake Superior in the evening to ease Schoep's aching joints and help him fall asleep. This picture was taken last July after John thought he may have to euthanize him in the near future. He asked his friend, photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, to take one last picture of them together.

To those who know me, you know how much my dog means to me.  I write this last line with tears in my eyes because I know exactly how John Unger must feel today without his best friend.

RIP Schoep and to you John Unger, you are my hero