John Unger and his dog Schoep float in the warm July waters of Lake Superior. Unger was providing water therapy for Schoep’s arthritis. The photo was taken by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson of Stonehouse Photography.
I ran across this photo over the weekend and had to find out more about it, talk about the true picture of unconditional love and trust!
John Unger’s dog Schoep, a shepherd mix, is 19 years old and was diagnosed with severe arthritis this summer. Unger was told that he might have to put Schoep down. Determined to alleviate his dog’s pain, Unger took Schoep to one of their regular spots – Lake Superior. Aware that water therapy helps people suffering from arthritis, Unger hoped to do the same for Schoep. This summer the waters of Lake Superior were warmer than average and Unger thought that letting Schoep float in the water would alleviate the pain of putting weight on his arthritic joints.
With the thought that Schoep may not be with him much longer, Unger asked a friend Hannah Stonehouse Hudson to snap some special pictures of the two of them during water therapy. When Stonehouse Hudson posted this picture to Facebook – it created an unexpected sensation. Complete strangers reached out to help, one woman paid for laser therapy on Schoep’s joints. At one point when Unger took Schoep for an appointment his vet showed him all of the donations pouring in to help Schoep with his joint pain.
Unger has started a not-for-profit, Schoep’s Legacy Foundation, to improve animal and human welfare. His goal is to help other pet owners gain access to treatment for their pets that they might otherwise not be able to afford.