Are You A Dog Lover?

1 Mar

If you are a dog lover, here’s a silly question… If your dog was in pain, what would you be willing to do to take away that pain? The answer (of course) is ANYTHING. You would do anything it takes to make your loving pet feel good. That’s why it was no surprise that this story went viral on the internet. The post about it on Facebook got over 207,000 likes and 116,000 shares almost instantly.

The story is about a Wisconsin man, John Unger, and his dog, Schoep. John rescued Schoep 19 years ago when he was only 8 months old. They instantly became best friends and went through almost two decades of ups and downs together.

In his old age, Schoep has become riddled with arthritis. It is so bad that he has a very hard time sleeping. John discovered that Schoep feels better in water, so he takes him into Lake Superior at night and holds Schoep up while he sleeps.

A photographer, Hannah Stonehouse-Hudson, is John’s friend and captured one of the “Schoep sleeping moments” with an incredible picture. In the picture, Schoep is out cold with his head resting on his owner’s chest. Partially submerged, the warm lake water soothes Schoep’s aches and pains enough so he can rest peacefully.

It is a picture of polar opposites; both heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. It’s heartbreaking to see Schoep in the final stages of his life, and wonderful to see such an incredible loving bond between a man and his dog. Because Schoep trusts John enough to fall asleep while his owner holds him up in the lake, you instantly know the love that was given during all those years to create that trust.

John Unger is reported as saying that he will do whatever he has to do to give Schoep relief from pain. He credits Schoep with saving his life 19 years ago when a relationship failed.

According to an interview with John Unger in the Huffington Post: After breaking up with his former fiancée, Unger had been having suicidal thoughts. “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 don’t know how to explain it. He just snapped me out of it… I just want to do whatever I can for this dog because he basically saved my [behind].”

Every night, John carries his dog into the waters of Lake Superior and holds him up while he sleeps. Yes, he stands in the lake water while his dog sleeps every single night.

Photographer Hannah Hudson said, “I want people to identify with this photo, and remember a time when they felt safe, loved, and cared for… Then I want them to channel those feelings and pay it forward! There is way too much negativity in this world – maybe with this one photo we can start to change things just a tiny bit.”

We just “paid it forward.” You should, too.

To watch the video and see the picture, go here.

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