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Thread: Beautiful moment between man and his sick dog

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    Elite Member HelpMeRhonda's Avatar
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    Default Beautiful moment between man and his sick dog

    Photographer Captures Tender Moment Between Man And His Sick Dog In Lake Superior (PHOTO)

    Photographer Captures Tender Moment Between Man And His Sick Dog In Lake Superior (PHOTO)








    They say a dog is a man's best friend, but to John Unger, a Wisconsin resident, his dog, Schoep, means everything.
    Unger adopted Schoep, named after the famous Wisconsin ice cream, when he was just a puppy, and the two have been together ever since. Now, at 19 years old, Schoep has arthritis and has trouble sleeping, the Pioneer Press reports. Unger found that water is therapeutic for his pained buddy, so he takes Schoep into Lake Superior and lulls him to sleep.
    Photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, owner of Stonehouse Photography and a friend of Unger's, decided to capture the relationship between the man and his dog down by the water.
    "This photo was from a last minute session," the Bayfield, Wis., photographer told The Huffington Post in an email. "We had been trying to get together for weeks, but it kept not happening because of my travel schedule for Stonehouse. We finally got together last Tuesday (the 31st). 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. This is in no way posed - I hate posed photos - they never, ever capture the true essence of anything."
    Stonehouse Hudson decided to post the photo to Facebook, where she described the pair's loving relationship.
    "This 19 year old Shep being cradled in his father's arms last night in Lake Superior," she wrote in the Facebook post, which has received more than 207,000 likes and 116,000 shares as of Wednesday morning.
    "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," she continued.
    Stonehouse Hudson never imagined the tender moment she captured would eventually go viral and touch the hearts of hundreds of thousands.
    "John lives for this dog, and for the dog's comfort," she told HuffPost. "My mother has a saying, 'Everything is for the comfort and convenience of the Dog.' John is a prime example of this."
    Stonehouse Hudson regularly photographs dogs as part of her profession. She offers pet sessions and often takes pictures of dogs at weddings. To give back, she does free shoots of hard-to-place animals for local shelters.
    She said the photograph of Unger and Schoep is more than just a moment frozen in time; it's an everlasting reminder.
    "I want people to identify with this photo, and remember a time when they felt safe, loved, and cared for," Stonehouse Hudson said. "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."
    UPDATE: John Lundy of the Duluth News Tribune interviewed John Unger, who described how Schoep saved his life. After breaking up with his former fiancee, 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)," Unger told Lundy. "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 ass.” Minnesota Public Radio reports that the popularity of the photo has spurred an outpouring of support in the form of donations to help pay for laser treatment for Schoep's arthritis.
    LOOK: John Unger cradling his dog, Schoep, in Lake Superior.
    Brookie, MsChiff, Laurent and 7 others like this.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    That is the sweetest thing ever. Rest sweet doggy and I hope you get relief from the pain,if only a while.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member MsChiff's Avatar
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    omg big lump in my throat

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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    how long is dude standing out in the water holding the dog so it can sleep?
    Kill him.
    Kill her.
    Kill It.
    Kill everything... that IS the solution!
    П(•_•)П
    twitchy molests my signature!

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    Silver Member clairescavys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsChiff View Post
    omg big lump in my throat
    Me too MsChiff, eyes are welling up as well. Sums up totally what our 'pets' (I call mine family) mean to us.

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    Dogs truly are man's best friend. All animals are special but IMO doggies are just the best. I hope Shoap's owner can find some peace and comfort somehow as well.

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    Elite Member HelpMeRhonda's Avatar
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    I had tears rolling when I first saw this, but now I'm wondering couldn't he get an above ground pool or a hot tub? (or someone could get him one)
    It still warms my heart, as it breaks for them both.
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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Lake Superior is colder than a witch's tit even in the middle of summer.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    Elite Member HelpMeRhonda's Avatar
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    He saved MY life... I just want to help him in return': Owner of sick dog whose picture touched the nation's hearts reveals how loyal companion stopped him from suicide


    • John Unger adopted Schoep from a Wisconsin animal shelter 19 years ago with ex-fiancée
    • After their break-up, Mr Unger contemplated suicide but Schoep brought him back from the brink
    • 'I don’t think I’d be here if I didn’t have Schoep with me,' Mr Unger said
    • Two weeks ago, Schoep's arthritis got so bad the veterinarian said it might be the end
    • Friend Hannah Stonehouse Hudson snapped what might have been a final portrait of the pair
    • Thanks to the donations of strangers, Schoep has more time with his best friend

    By Emily Anne Epstein
    PUBLISHED: 21:06, 10 August 2012 | UPDATED: 19:17, 11 August 2012

    The man pictured lulling his arthritic dog to sleep in Lake Superior has revealed that his dog Schoep saved him from the brink of suicide.
    John Unger, 49, adopted the dog with his ex-fiancée 19 years ago, but after the relationship ended, Mr Unger fought a desperate despair.
    The companionship of his trusty rescue dog gave Mr Unger the courage to go on, saying : 'I don’t think I’d be here if I didn’t have Schoep with me. I just want to do whatever I can for this dog.'
    The water soothes the animal's pain, Mr Unger said, allowing him to sleep.

    Mr Unger's good friend Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, who is a professional photographer, captured the heartbreaking moment between the man and his aging rescue dog in Wisconsin when Mr Unger thought his best friend was at the end of his life.
    But thanks to the generosity of strangers, the MailOnline can reveal that thousands of dollars have been donated to Schoep's medical care, allowing the pair more time together than they ever imagined.
    Scroll down for video


    True love: John Unger, 49, lulls his 19-year-old dog Schoep to sleep because it helps ease the dog's arthritis


    ‘Schoep 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,' the photographer explained.

    The story behind the special relationship behind this man, who works as a caretaker on a farm outside of Bayfield, and his dog is just as touching as the moment on the Lake.
    Mr Unger, 49, adopted Schoep, who is named after a famous brand of Wisconsin ice cream, when he was just a puppy and it was love at first sight.

    He and his ex-fiancée had been searching for a rescue dog for a year, going to dozens of humane societies.

    More...




    'We wanted every single dog,' Mr Unger said to the MailOnline. 'We just hadn't found the right one.'

    His then-fiancée they spotted the pup at the Ozaukee Animal Shelter 19 years ago.

    'We fell in love with her immediately,' Mr Unger told the MailOnline.

    Schoep was in a cage with another dog, possibly his mother, crouched in the back quietly staring at the corner with his back to Mr Unger.

    'I knew - that's him,' Mr Unger said.

    Couple: John Unger, 49, adopted the dog with his ex-fiancée 19 years ago, but after the relationship ended, Mr Unger fought a desperate despair






    Saved: The companionship of his trusty rescue dog gave Mr Unger the courage to go on, saying : 'I don’t think I’d be here if I didn’t have Schoep with me. I just want to do whatever I can for this dog'



    Together: Thanks to the generosity of strangers, the MailOnline can reveal that thousands of dollars have been donated to Schoep's medical care, allowing the pair more time together than they ever imagined

    At the time Schoep was named Tramp by the shelter staff and showed signs of abuse.
    'He didn't even know what toys were,' Mr Unger said. 'I really wanted this dog because I wanted him to enjoy life.'

    The couple worked hard to establish the trust of the dog and eventually brought out its 'full potential'.
    Though Mr Unger's relationship with Schoep has clearly stood the test of time, the relationship with his fiancée did not, and when the woman moved to Colorado over a decade ago, he retained custody of the dog.
    Capturing the moment: Hannah Stonehouse Hudson is friends with Mr Unger and spent hours capturing the perfect shot though she says it came naturally and was not posed

    Lucky that he did, considering he told the Deluth News Tribune that one night, while in the depths of depression in the wake of the breakup, Mr Unger contemplated suicide.
    '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 ass,' he said.
    Now that Schoep is in pain with his arthritis, it is Mr Unger's time to return the favor.
    'In this photo, people have said they see everything from pure love to hope for the world. They see peace, kindness, the relationship between man and dog,' Ms Stonehouse Hudson told The Pioneer Press.
    'Two women, both whose husbands died from cancer, said they never thought they'd see love again, but this photo showed them love.
    'People are leaving me messages, crying and opening up about dogs they've lost, spouses they've lost.'
    Mr Unger told the MailOnline that the photograph was four years in the making, as Ms Hudson and Mr Unger couldn't find the time for a portrait session.
    But recently, Mr Unger got some devastating news.

    'To be honest with you, I don’t think I’d be here if I didn’t have Schoep with me.'
    John Unger


    'About two weeks ago I took Schoep in for a check up because he was limping,' Mr Unger said.
    The doctor recommend pain medication, but said that it may be temporary or not help at all.
    Then, Mr Unger said, the doctor told him, ' "If there isn't any improvement, we should probably..." a good vet wont say "put him down," but he said at that point I may start to want to think about it.'
    Faced with the possibility of losing his best friend, he called up Ms Hudson for an impromptu session.
    She met the pair at sunset on Lake Superior, because Schoep's cataracts prevent him from seeing in sunlight.
    Compassion: Mr Unger adopted Schoep, who is named after a famous brand of Wisconsin ice cream, when he was just a puppy, and now that the dog has developed arthritis, he has trouble getting to sleep


    'She couldn't believe he fell asleep in my arms,' Mr Unger said.
    Ms Hudson watched the man and his dog float around the lake for maybe five minutes before Schoep began to get cold and shake.
    Mr Unger said he had to take him out of the water to let him warm up and was worried she hadn't had the chance to snap an image.

    AT FIRST SIGHT: JOHN AND SCHOEP


    John Unger, 49, adopted Schoep, who is named after a famous brand of Wisconsin ice cream, when he was just a puppy and it was love at first sight.

    He and his ex-fiancée had been searching for a rescue dog for a year, going to dozens of humane societies.

    'We wanted every single dog,' Mr Unger said to the MailOnline. 'We just hadn't found the right one.'

    His then-fiancée they spotted the pup at the Ozaukee Animal Shelter 19 years ago.

    'We fell in love with her immediately,' Mr Unger told the MailOnline.

    Schoep was in a cage with another dog, possibly his mother, crouched in the back quietly staring at the corner with his back to Mr Unger.

    'I knew - that's him,' Mr Unger said.

    At the time Schoep was named Tramp by the shelter staff and showed signs of abuse.

    'He didn't even know what toys were,' Mr Unger said. 'I really wanted this dog because I wanted him to enjoy life.'

    The couple worked hard to establish the trust of the dog and eventually brought out its 'full potential'.



    'I didn't think she even took one picture,' he said. 'But then she told me she got what she wanted.'

    Mr Unger doesn't know how his ex-fiancée feels about the image going viral, or that it might be time to say goodbye to Schoep, but he is hoping that his love for Schoep might open the door to more romance.
    'Women are also asking me if John is single!' Ms Hudson said.

    The ladies are in luck because not only is Mr Unger single, but he is looking for a relationship.
    'Boy, is it tough to meet women up here,' he told The Deluth News Tribune.
    'So this might open up a new road.'
    Mr Unger, who does not have a cell phone, said that while he got his first computer in February and is still confused by the internet, he has begun to explore online dating.
    The most exciting thing to come out of the photograph, however, is the generous donations that people who have been touched by the photograph have been offering.

    'A woman from Virginia basically paid for the latest laser therapy on his joints,' he said to MSNBC. 'She paid for a full treatment, and I don’t know how much it is, but I know I couldn’t have done that.'
    He wept as he described how much strangers' kindness has helped him and his best friend.

    'People from all over are doing this. I can’t believe it. So much has come in already in donations that I don’t have to worry about anything at the vet anymore.'
    He said that Schoep has already had two treatments and will get his third this afternoon.
    'I have seen improvements in Schoep's ability to walk,' he told the MailOnline. 'He's walking faster. He's holding his head higher.'


    Healing: Since the funds came gushing in, the clinic was able to treat Schoep with joint laser treatments, which reduce pain and swelling while healing the animal's limbs



    All Better: Schoep will need these treatments every few weeks 'forever,' the vet said, but he should be able to spend his golden years pain-free

    A spokeswoman from the clinic told the MailOnline that 19 people have made considerable donations to Schoep, amounting to nearly two thousand dollars in funds to help pay for his treatment.
    Schoep's veterinarian, Erik Haukaas, said he was 'overwhelmed' by the generosity of strangers.
    'John is a great guy but he doesn't have a whole lot of money. He does the best can to care for the dog,' Dr Haukass told the MailOnline.
    He said that before the donations, all Mr Unger could afford was basic pain medication for his dog.
    'He's failing. He's slowing down. Most dogs don't live near this long,' he said.

    'And then the picture came out and everyone wants to help.'

    'Schoep is doing very well. I don't think John has to worry about Schoep for quite a while.'
    Veterinarian Erik Haukass

    Since the funds came gushing in, the clinic was able to treat Schoep with joint laser treatments, which reduce pain and swelling while healing the animal's limbs.

    Each session costs $200.
    'It's like putting oil on a rusty joint,' he explained.
    Schoep will need these treatments every few weeks 'forever,' the vet said, but he should be able to spend his golden years pain-free.
    'Schoep is doing very well. I don't think John has to worry about Schoep for quite a while,' he said.

    People interested in helping can call the Bay Area Animal Hospital at 715-682-8865 with a credit card number or mail a check to 3601 E Hwy 2 Ashland, WI 54806.

    All donations go right into Schoep's account at the clinic
    Free Charmed.

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    how long is dude standing out in the water holding the dog so it can sleep?
    Quote Originally Posted by HelpMeRhonda View Post
    I had tears rolling when I first saw this, but now I'm wondering couldn't he get an above ground pool or a hot tub? (or someone could get him one)
    It still warms my heart, as it breaks for them both.
    The photos are really touching, but both of those were my thoughts. How long does the pup get to sleep?
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    Quote Originally Posted by shedevilang View Post
    (Replying to MontanaMama) This is some of the smartest shit I ever read

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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    The photos are really touching, but both of those were my thoughts. How long does the pup get to sleep?
    I'm on ignore again aren't I?


    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    'She couldn't believe he fell asleep in my arms,' Mr Unger said.
    Ms Hudson watched the man and his dog float around the lake for maybe five minutes before Schoep began to get cold and shake.
    Mr Unger said he had to take him out of the water to let him warm up
    Free Charmed.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    I have no idea Montana.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    *pout*
    Free Charmed.

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    Bronze Member CountryKate's Avatar
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    Beautiful photo. Beautiful story. Hits very close to home for me. Such love~

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