The Story Behind The Photo Of The Man With The Sleeping Dog

Photo by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson.

Everyday I see stories about men being abusive to both their human and animal companions. This photo and the story behind it is why I created the Dog Files. It’s how a REAL man should act toward his family, animals included. A special thanks to Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, the photographer who captured this special moment.

Make sure you watch the video at the bottom.

Kenn Bell
Dog Files Creator

Minnesota – A man and his best friend are getting worldwide attention after a picture of the pair floating on Lake Superior spread through social media. The dog’s owner has shared the reason behind the trips to the lake.

For the last 18 years, John Unger has had a constant companion in his dog Shoep, but time is taking its toll.

The Shepherd mix has lost his sight and age has also brought arthritis. It’s pain and stiffness that offers little relief.

But, in the shallow water of Lake Superior, owner and pet find a temporary peace. The water takes weight off tired joints.

In John’s arms, there’s no urge to swim, only to sleep – a few moments of serenity from sore limbs.

People from around the world have been so moved by a picture, they’ve been calling Schoep’s vet offering to pay for the dog’s medication and treatment.


  1. avonlady says

    LOVE says it all..I would do anything for my bff..she is by my side for the good and the bad..I feel the love these 2 have for each and my ‘Puppy’ who is 7 share that love..she is a rescue also

  2. says

    And God will look down on you and say “Good job and thank you for the love you gave Shoep! This is the love I send to you and your loved ones. When it is Shoeps time to come home I will be here for him to love and care for him untillllll youand all his loved ones join him here.” On behalf of all dog lovers thank you you are a great man!

  3. says

    So very wonderful to know and to see something truly beautiful and oh so loving between a very special man and his very special furbaby…may God bless both of them. We read about and hear about so many horrific things that man inflicts on helpless animals and it is horrifying and sickening to say the least. But…here is one of the most touching and lovely relationships between man and his dog…I just cannot describe the happiness I feel just knowing about these two….

  4. Theresa (& Prudence) says

    Everytime I see this picture, I feel a bit better about people. Thank you for sharing the background story.

  5. Leanne Field says

    Every time I have seen this posted on Facebook it has brought tears to my eyes. The bond and love shared between you and your dog is irreplaceable and cherished. I know I have that with mine and I can only hope and pray he lives as long as “Shoep” has cause I’ve heard that dogs that are loved…I mean really loved….live longer than others. God bless John and his buddy “Shoep”…I love stories like this!

  6. Rose says

    Good man hey I am looking for a guy like you I wish you were younger lol,,I foster a blind and deaf dogs I have 2 right now and I love them so special

  7. fabnob2 says

    I unashamedly wept as I watched this vid. My own Border Collie is in a very semilar predicament currently. She has been my constant loyal companion for nearly 14 years. It must be very close the end now but I won’t let her sufffer too much.
    Don H

  8. Chris B. says

    Oh, tears…..My girl is 17 and we’re going through the same thing. So hard to know that my shadow & bff won’t be with me much longer. I just feel blessed that I’m the one who got to be her person for all these years….

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