Photo of man soothing his arthritic dog goes viral

Schoep’s advanced arthritis has made it difficult for the senior canine to get any rest. Luckily his owner, John Unger, had heard that people suffering from arthritis may respond well to water therapy. He brought his aging dog to Lake Superior. His idea: to take advantage of the lake’s higher-than-average temperatures this summer to let Schoep feel weightless and relaxed.

Knowing that this could be one of the last moments with his beloved pet, Unger enlisted his photographer friend, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, to capture a special photo of Schoep as the vet had told him his dog may have to be put down in the near future.

The wedding photographer then posted the now-famous photograph of her friend and his beloved companion to her Facebook Page on August 1. To date, the shot has attracted two million views and hundreds of thousands of “likes” and shares. It’s been featured on CNN, Fox News, The Huffington Post, Inside Edition and other media outlets in the U.S. and around the world.

Since the photo went viral, Unger has been trying to adjust to his sudden popularity.

“The first four days I was literally in shock,” he told He said he spent the first two days reading every single one of the comments on Facebook.

Unger said he has heard from people in Hungary, Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Australia, New Zealand and “places I had to look up because I had no idea where they were.”

Even more important than his sudden fame and moral support is the fact that anonymous donors are making it possible for Schoep to get the supplement glucosamine along with laser treatments to treat his arthritis. We wish them both well!

Check out this video on the remarkable story:


For more information, visit Schloep and John’s Facebook Page and read In loving arms: Man floats his sick dog to sleep, becomes Internet sensation.

A note regarding the photgraph we’ve posted: This is a frame capture from a video which does not really do the shot justice. To see the original and copyrighted photograph, visit John and Schope. If you wish to purchase a copy, you can do so there.