Tender Moment Between Man and Dog by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson/StonehousePhoto.com
When it comes down to it, what makes a photograph truly special is when it captures a great, unforgettable moment. Just take a look at this picture of Wisconsin resident John Unger and his sick dog Schoep floating in Lake Superior.
According to TwinCities Pioneer Press and Huffington Post, John has own Schoep since he was an 8-month old puppy. John, who was reeling from a break up with his fiancee at the time, credited Schoep from saving him from suicide. Nineteen years later, John is now the one taking care of Schoep, who has since developed arthritis and has sleeping complications.
The warm summer waters of Lake Superior provides the soothing, therapeutic comfort that Schoep needs, and as Schoep is carried in the waters, he gently falls asleep in his owner’s arms.
One of John’s friends, photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, wanted to capture this special bond between John and Schoep, and was able to join them in one of their time together. It only took her 5 minutes to capture this moment.
“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 Photography. 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…
In this photo, people have said they see everything from pure love to hope for the world…
I know this is not about me — it’s about a guy who loves his dog — but I am in complete awe that my photo has had such an impact.”
Much to Hannah’s surprise, since she posted the photo on Facebook on August 1st, the photo has received over 2.2 million views, almost 300,000 likes, and about 170,000 shares and counting.
And that is the power of photography. It can affect our very core. It can change lives. It can inspire people and start a movement. That is what happened to John and Schoep. According to Minnesota MPR News, since the photo has gone viral, people has been pouring donations into a charity to pay for the surgery needed to treat Schoep. On Monday, an anonymous donor even paid for Schoep’s laser treatments at Bay Area Animal Hospital.
Simply amazing. The power of photography.
Thanks to Peta Pixel for picking up the story. You can help Schoep get treatment by purchasing the prints of John and Schoep. Part of the proceeds goes back to help pay for the bills for Schoep’s treatments.