The bond between a man and his dog was captured in a tender moment when John Unger asked his friend to take one last photo of his beloved dog Schoep, a 19-year-old dog with arthritis.
Unger was anticipating having to put Schoep to sleep in July of 2012 due to the severity of the arthritis his dog was suffering from. Unger invited his photographer friend, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson to meet him at Lake Superior where he would float Schoep in the water to alleviate the pressure from his elderly dog's arthritic joints.
Stonehouse Hudson posted a photo capturing the moment to her Facebook page on August 1st. The powerful image spread all over the Internet and through the media causing an outpouring of support for Unger and Schoep. Donations allowed Unger to afford treatments for Schoep that gave his dog another relatively pain-free year of living and continued inspiration to others.
Unger continued to post photos of Schoep over the next year on Facebook. This photo from July 15 captured a recent good day they shared together.
"A fantastic day we had. Up early to walk and go to the beach, eat, nap, go shopping, eat, laundry, go to the beach, eat, nap and one more walk. All without the humidity, thats what made it fantastic - especially for Schoep!"
But the 20-year-old dog passed away two days later with John Unger posting on Thursday evening, "I Breathe But I Can't Catch My Breath. Schoep Passed yesterday. More information in the days ahead."
Unger's friend and photographer, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, posted on her own Facebook page that evening, "RIP Schoep. He had an amazing life and touched us all. Please keep John in your thoughts."
The story of Schoep's and John's friendship will continue to bless others. The image will forever remind future generations of the civilized care we humans are capable of.
To ensure this message carries on, Stonehouse Hudson became the president of the Schoep Legacy Foundation to help lower-income families to care for pets in need.
You may send condolences to:
P.O. Box 434
Bayfield WI 54814 U.S.A.