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Schoep, The Dog, Turns 20 Years Old

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- He's the dog that has touched the hearts of millions across the world. Schoep, the lovable shepherd mix, who lost his sight to cataracts and struggled with arthritis and hip problems, celebrated a birthday over the weekend -- his 20th.

We first met Schoep after a photo of him and his owner, John Unger, went viral. The two were captured floating in Lake Superior -- a typical routine for a dog owner who wanted to find joint pain relief for his beloved four-legged friend.

Letters, support and thousands of dollars quickly poured in from around the world -- all finding a connection with Schoep and his owner.

The more than $10,000 in donations has been used for a weekly laser therapy to stimulate old cells in Schoep's body. The cells then reproduce faster, reducing swelling and pain.

Nearly a year ago, Unger thought he'd have to prepare to say goodbye to his longtime companion -- and now, the two are celebrating Schoep's 20th birthday.

Nearly 130,000 people follow Schoep's story on his facebook page, where Unger posted a few photos of Schoep's big day.

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