The man in the picture is John Unger. The dog is 19-year-old Schoep.
John bought Schoep as a puppy and they’ve been close companions ever since. John recently found out Schoep is suffering from arthritis. To help him deal with the pain, John started taking Schoep into the lake near his house in Wisconsin to soothe him to sleep.
The moment between John and his best friend, was captured last week by local photographer, Hannah Hudson. The photo is going viral fast and has now received more than 331,000 likes on Facebook.
Photographer, Hannah told The Huffington Post:
“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.
“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.
After the photo was released, John (the dog’s owner) spoke to a US newspaper and said he owes his life to Schoep. He said he bought the dog with his ex-fiance but after their relationship ended he 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.”
Have you ever had a relationship this strong with one of your pets?