Schoep, the dog, passed away yesterday.
Neil Gaiman wrote that, “Any story that goes on long enough ends in death.” I know that. The 150,00+ people who have been following “Schoep and John” since this photo brought them to fame know that. But knowing that truth doesn’t make today’s reality any easier.
Rudyard Kipling asked why “[should] we give our hearts to a dog to tear?” I know John might be asking himself that same question right now, but he also knows the answer found in the life he shared with Schoep and the doubly precious moments he enjoyed sharing his dog with a world that paused at the photo of a man rocking his best friend to sleep in the waters of Lake Superior.
Many of us recognize the sorrow John must be feeling right now, though probably none of us can begin to understand what it must be like to mourn in the company of tens of thousands. I can imagine the gratitude of the endless condolences, but I can also imagine how they can’t begin to sooth that pain. Like a bridge built across an endless chasm, ever growing yet never reaching John on the other side, standing alone amongst his loss.
Pray for him.