I first saw their photo on Facebook, as I'm sure many of you did. I thought the photo was precious. But, it was more than a precious photo. The story that went with the photo was compelling.
The Facebook photo went viral and the backstory of the man and his dog was quickly picked up and circulated by the media. We learned that the man was Wisconsin resident John Unger. The dog's name is Schoep. Unger and Schoep have been a team for nearly 19 years. Unger adopted the shepherd mix when it was an 8-month old pup. As Schoep aged, he developed arthritis and hip dysplasia. Now, he limps from his ailments.
By now you know that Unger takes Schoep into Lake Superior where the dog is able to get some relief from arthritis pain and is lulled to sleep. Unger asked his friend, a professional photographer, to capture a picture of them doing this. The photographer, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, did more than take a picture for a friend. There has been an unintended consequence -- they have taught the world about loyalty, love, and arthritis. Here's the story and photo in the Duluth News Tribune, in case you somehow missed it.
People have been so touched by the story, many have made donations to help get pain medication, glucosamine, and laser treatments for Schoep. The degenerative arthritis is not curable, but Schoep hopefully will be more comfortable and have a better quality of life with treatment. How did you feel when you saw the photo? What touched you most about the photo of Schoep and his owner? Have you ever experienced the love and loyalty between pet and owner that we see here?