For those of you who didn’t log in to Facebook yesterday, you may have missed this heartmelting photo of Wisconsin resident John Unger and his 19-year-old rescue dog, Schoep. The photo shows Unger holding the dog, who is riddled with arthritis, as he wades in Lake Superior. Unger apparently discovered that this was the one and only action that seemed to lull the dog to sleep and ease his aching muscles. Now, it has become a nightly ritual.
Hannah Stonehouse Hudson is the photographer who captured the moment, which she says is completely unstaged, and one she says tells an amazing story.
“The purpose for me … was I just wanted to help a friend capture a moment [with] his dog. I know he loves Schoep very, very much, and I wanted to do that as a favor to a friend and fellow dog-lover.”
Unger rescued Schoep when he was only eight weeks old and says the nightly routine is the least he can do to pay the dog back for “saving his life” one night many years ago.
Of that night, Unger said, “To be honest with you, I don’t think I’d be here if I didn’t have Schoep with me that night. He just snapped me out of it […] I just want to do whatever I can for this dog…”