It is the photo that has touched people across the world, that of John Unger of Bayfield, Wis, rocking his beloved pooch to sleep.
For the past 19 years, Unger’s loyal companion has been a shepherd mix named Schoep, who even helped him overcome his own personal heartbreak.
Now, Unger is repaying back the favor, showering the dog with love and helping to soothe the pain of severe arthritis.
Two weeks ago, Unger learnt of Schoep’s condition and he knew that people suffering from arthritis respond well to water therapy, so he brought his aging dog to one of their favorite spots: Lake Superior.
With the prognosis grim (Schoep may have to be out down), Unger asked his photographer friend, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, to capture a photo that would last a lifetime.
And she did.
As of Thursday, this snap has nearly 300,000 likes and 32,000 comments and Unger says he has been touched by the public’s reaction.
“To see that this photo has lifted their spirits … that right there lifts mine even higher,” he said.