This week we received the sad news of Schoep's passing. He had recently celebrated his twentieth birthday together with his owner John and the thousands of people who fell in love with his story and followed their Facebook page to receive updates. For many of those fans and virtual friends, the CosmodoggyLand team included, the strong desire to have Shoep among us overshadowed rational thinking. We all knew that he was a senior dog and that his precious life had been extended thanks to the power of love and dedication. However, our hearts decided to put hope before anything else, and the news of his death came as a very sad surprise.
Perhaps, this is because the Schoep & John duo symbolize, for many people, much more than a famous story of a friendship triggered by a picture. Today, 271k people follow their Facebook page and thousand have expressed their outmost sympathies. For many John & Schoep's followers, their story represents several of those important values that humanity has been losing in its way to modern life, but that we need to keep alive and pass down from generation to generation for mankind's sake. Sometimes we as humans, need a dog to reminds us of those values. This was certainly one of the reasons this blog exists, and also the reason we love Schoep and John's message. In a world where we are taught that the cost-benefit equation must be applied to everyhing, even life, a man is spearing his resources and time to bring his old friend to the river just to ease his pain. In times when our society discusses and/or accepts euthanasia, John has put all his effort in giving his ill senior dog a longer and happier life. In our culture of disposable love and commitment, this human is showing us that life is a wheel, and we should not hesitate to pay back to those who took care of us before, even if they are older and weaker today. The results were wonderful with thousands of people all around the world engaging themselves, helping, and contributing to this "hopeless case" that John unwittingly shared. All those individuals, plus a remarquable number of Facebook followers that would make many celebrities jealous, prove that those depreciated values still stand strong in a significant part of our modern society.
Was that what Hannah Stonehouse Hudson captured with her camera that day in the river? The fact that it went viral and that its number of followers kept growing is more than proof that it was not simply just another Internet phenomenon. The image pierced our everyday armor of indifference and went straigth to our heart.
Without doubt, Schoep was a unique dog and so is his human friend, who dared put what really matters first and showed the world the power of his action. We offer our most sincere condolences to John and we hope that he will be able to turn his sorrow into a bridge, a mean to reach out to all those individuals who can contribute to keep alive, for humanity, the values that Schoep awakened in him. Let our hearts put hope first once again.