Amazing Photo Of Man And His Dog


19 year old Schoep being cradled in his father’s arms in Lake Superior. Photo credit: Hannah Stonehouse Hudon, Stonehouse Photography

Shelley Mamott, Staff Writer

A touching and heartfelt photograph of John Unger, a Wisconsin resident, and his 19-year-old dog, Schoep. What is clear from this picture is that to John Unger, his dog, Schoep, means everything.

Unger and his then fiancé adopted Schoep when he was just an 8-month-old puppy and the two have been together ever since. At first Schoep was nervous around Unger, as it was thought that Shoep was abused by a male in the past. It took about eight months for Unger to really earn Schoep’s trust. Over the years the two have been through a lot together.

Now, at 19 years old, Schoep has arthritis and Unger found that the warm waters of Lake Superior is soothing for Schoeps aching body, so he takes him into lake and lulls him to sleep.

This wonderful photograph taken on July 31st was captured by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, of Bayfield, Wis., owner of Stonehouse Photography and a friend of Unger’s.

“I had about 5 minutes to shoot and this is what I caught – a man and his dog. John loving his Schoep, and Schoep trusting John so much he falls asleep in the buoyancy of the water,” Stonehouse Hudson said.

The photographer posted the photo on her facebook page where she described the pair’s loving relationship.

“This is 19 year old Shep being cradled in his father’s arms last night in Lake Superior,” she said. “Shep falls asleep every night when he is carried into the lake. The buoyancy of the water soothes his arthritic bones. Lake Superior is very warm right now, so the temp of the water is perfect. I was so happy I got to capture this moment for John. By the way, John rescued Shep as an 8 month old puppy, and he’s been by his side through many adventures.”

Currently the photo has been viewed on facebook more than 225,000 times and shared more than 131,000 times. Because of it’s popularity, it has influenced many to make donations to help Unger pay for treatment to help Schoep’s arthritis.

by Shelley Mamott

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21 thoughts on “Amazing Photo Of Man And His Dog

  1. Lee says:

    A person’s spirit is lifted to read of such a beautiful and tender moment in our often troubled world. This is a truly special moment of a very special man and his very special friend captured by a very special photographer. Love and blessings to all of them.

  2. Rachael P says:

    I’m pretty choked up right now – this picture tells me all I need to know about this gentle man and his beloved friend. This is what life is all about. May God bless them both in their journey together.

  3. Jim says:

    How many of us dog-lovers have selfishly waited too long to put an old dog down? If he can’t do it, then let a trusted friend take it to the vet and just get it done! (An “AG” vet can pinpoint the location of the heart, jam the needle in and it’s over with!) The shelters are full of dogs who could lick the tears of grief from this guy’s cheeks. Ponder a moment before you condemn me.

    • Alex says:

      Jim, the thought is not worth pondering for many reasons.

      You are supposed to honor love. Playing a god and deciding to end a life to “ease the dogs pain” isn’t an accepted way of honoring love, because it doesn’t truly take into consideration the dogs wishes. Giving to the best of your abilities the care that produces Health and Happiness is about Honoring Love. John Unger inspires people in his picture with Schoep to be their best selves, their love based selves.

  4. Rachael P says:

    Jim, I don’t condemn you and on some level, I even agree with what you say. But I trust that this guy will do right by his boy – maybe not on your timetable or mine but he will do the right thing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jim reminds me of my ex..who for his own convenience and unknown to me, had my dog Patches put to sleep when he divorced me…Carole

  6. Terry says:

    John will know when the time is right. It is not for anyone else to try to tell him when that time is. It is totally obvious how incredibly much he loves this dog. I just had to send my 16 year old dachshund to the Rainbow Bridge. It nearly killed me. Talk to your vet. Mine came to my house and she passed peacefully lying on my chest heart to heart <3

  7. Claudia says:

    This is one of the most touching friendship story I’ve ever heard. This is Love at its highest. And I think we should learn the lesson. THANK YOU John and Schoep.Altough I can’t stop crying, I know Schoep is protecting John now, and he’ll keep doing it until the day his friend will come back home – that day he will RUN to greet him and they will be happy forevermore.

    @Terry: I feel so close to you because I had to did the same to my 14 years old beloved doggie. After she spent the night crying in pain, early in the morning I took her to the vet and she passed away while I kept her paw in my hand. Dogs leave their paws in our heart forever – how true…

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