BAYFIELD, Wisc. (CBS/KDLH) -- A Wisconsin man has been thrust into the spotlight after a picture of he, and his 19 year old dog went viral on the internet.
The image of John Unger and his dog Schoep has been viewed millions of times on Facebook, reaching people across the world.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it's safe to say one of Hannah Stonehouse Hudson's newest snapshot is worth millions. Hudson says, "It's been viewed almost three million times; it's been shared I think 150,000 times. It's been like an incredible amount of times. My mother has a saying, 'For the comfort and convenience of the dog,' and he is the epitome of this saying. He loves this dog, he takes care of this dog, his life is about this dog."
John Unger and Schoep have spent almost twenty years together; he was rescued as a puppy. Unger says, "We both wanted to work with a dog that had been abused and we knew this. We talked about it and that's what we wanted to do. We wanted to help out an animal and bring out his full potential."
It's hard for Unger to talk about their time together, because 19-year-old Shoep is nearing the end of his long, happy life.He says, "What he means to me? I can't put into words."
He suffers from arthritis and has trouble sleeping, so to ease his pain, Unger takes him swimming and Schoep will fall asleep in his arms. Unger says, "Not too many more times are we going to be able to do this. So every time now it's a pretty special feeling, the buoyancy it gives him in the water relieves the pain, or at least some of it to the point where he's relaxed."
Hudson's picture captured this moment perfectly and her snap shot, viewed three million times, comes down to one word: love. Hudson says, "They are two amazing beings and if you can take anything from this photo, take the love from it and pass it on to other people."
Unger adds, "You give love and that love will return tenfold, that's what I want people to get from this photograph."
Unger has received an overwhelming amount of support since the picture went viral. People are even stepping up to help pay for Schoep's medical costs.