Heartwarming Photo of a Dog Sleeping in Its Owners Arms Goes Viral

Photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson of Stonehouse Photography made a splash on the Internet this past week after sharing a heartwarming dog photograph through Facebook.

The photograph shows Wisconsin resident John Unger in a tender moment with his dog Schoep in Lake Superior.

Unger first rescued Schoep when he was a 8-month-old puppy, and the two have spent the past 19 years together. Unger says that the dog saved him from suicide after he broke up with his former fiancée years ago.

When Schoep started getting up in years, he developed arthritis in his legs.

As the pain started giving the dog sleeping problems, Unger discovered that water helps to soothe the pain. He therefore started taking Schoep into the waters of Lake Superior and allowing him periods of pain-free sleep in his arms.

Stonehouse Hudson tells the Huffington Post,

This photo was from a last minute session. 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.

After posting the photograph to Facebook, the image went viral. It has since attracted hundreds of thousands of likes and comments, and is being shared by the media all across the world:

In addition to her wedding photography business, Stonehouse Hudson also photographs pets, often volunteering her time to shoot portraits of animals at local shelters. You can find her on Facebook here.

(via Stonehouse Photography via The Huffington Post)

Update: An anonymous donor has stepped forward to provide Schoep with laser treatment for his arthritis at a local animal hospital. (thx Cyrious!)

Image credit: Photograph by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson/Stonehouse Photo

  • Rob LaRosa

    God bless Mr. Unger

  • Slash_Cynic

    Another slow news day on Petapixel.

  • Keiran Blackwell

    Another slow day of commenting on stories you really don’t care for or about?

  • Michael Zhang


  • Cyrious Photo

    If you scroll down the page you see that someone actually paid anonymously to give the dog laser treatment’s at a local animal hospital. That’s beautiful.

  • Larry Leone

    The Power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling :

    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?

    Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie —
    Perfect passion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

    When the fourteen years which Nature permits
    Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
    And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
    Then you will find — it’s your own affair —
    But . . . you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the body that lived at your single will,
    With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
    When the spirit hat answered your every mood
    Is gone — wherever it goes — for good,
    You will discover how much you care,
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

    We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent.
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we’ve kept’em, the more do we grieve;

    For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short-time loan is as bad as a long —
    So why in — Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

  • Angus

    “cradled in the arms of his father” <– WT?

  • Squeak

    What beautiful man you are. I am so glad to see the lovenfor pir furry friends. I have a 14 yr old peek/pom mail hes getting very bad hips and starting to loose more hearing and sigh. He has alot of good days and runns around like a puppy. Its hard to see them in pain some time i wish they could tell us where it hurts. But to you my friend i send my prays to your boy and i will try the water for my old boy. Oh yes my squeak says hi:-)

  • Peter Croft

    I’m crying. I have a 14yo Golden Lab. She has a big tumour but is not yet in that kind of pain. She’s still happy. I know. I know my dog. Need I say more?

  • Peter Croft

    Wow. I wasn’t aware of this. Thank you Larry!

  • Farnsworth Dye

    You don’t have a clue do you?

  • Coop

    I miss my dog so much…

  • Anis Mohiuddin

    I envy the warmth both are enjoying. Keep it up.

  • momoftwins1994

    heart warming at it’s best

  • Moggy

    I wanna try that with my cat!

  • Rachel Dykes

    awe how awesome now i miss my buttercup shewas the best dog any girl could ask for

  • Val

    I love this guy! Went home and gave my dogs love! What a great blessing they are to each other!

  • Addie

    Animals are so loyal and giving. Wish more HUMANs were so. Humans, please treat the creatures well. They are also God’s creation.

  • justdogz

    I just love this story, how wonderful to have him for 19 years. I have a yellow labrador,Oliver, who was diagnosed with an aggressive thyroid tumour over 12 months ago and was given 6 months at the most. He is still going strong and no sign of illness and what’s more has just fathered a beautiful litter of puppies, his only ever as he was meant to have non viable sperm!

  • lily

    This is so beautiful, even when our pets are afflicted by disease its nice to see mankind lend a healing hand to his companion. To the anonymous donor, you are heaven sent. GOD bless all three!