'Spiritual thing': Wisconsin man, dog at peace amid Internet fame

A serene but extremely compelling photo of a man and his dog in Lake Superior became an online sensation. Life changed a bit for John Unger and his 19-year-old dog Schoep amid all the attention. But they still go for swims. And Schoep is doing well after treatments to ease his arthritis.
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It was a simple image: a man cradling his aging dog, both relaxing with closed eyes in Lake Superior, where the water takes the pressure off the dog's aching joints.

And then the photo went viral last month, bringing widespread attention to both the subject (John Unger of Bayfield, Wis., and Schoep) and photographer Hannah Hudson. Hudson's Stonehouse Photography Facebook post on Aug. 1 got nearly 350,000 "likes" and nearly 37,000 comments, and was shared more than 100,000 times.

The image touched people far and wide around the globe, and received a fair amount of media coverage.

The good-natured Unger, a fruit farm caretaker, has taken the attention (and a few marriage proposals) with ease, the Duluth News Tribune reports. He gratefully accepted donations that have helped ease the pains his 19-year-old dog suffers, the newspaper reports. And the image has brought Hudson new business. The newspaper has more images of the two.

KARE 11 had a recent profile of the man and his dog:

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