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Donations pour in for dog after picture goes viral

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DULUTH, Mn. (KDLH)--One snap shot taken on the shores of Lake Superior, is changing the life of a Bayfield man and his 19-year-old dog. Remember this story we reported on back in August?

About the owner who took his dog for float time in Lake Superior because it helped to ease the dog’s arthritis?

The public attention the story received, because Hannah Stonehouse Hudson took a picture that went viral, has caught John Unger by surprise.

"It's quite amazing what's happened since that first story broke. People from around the world have come together to share in this," said Unger.

Strangers, supporters, and fans of John and his dog Schoep have sent kind words and generous donations, enough to provide Schoep with a higher quality of life.

"Schoep's health is improving. He'll always have a limp but the therapy that has been donated is unbelievable. It's like we turned back the clock one year or two years."

"Schoep is a very happy dog. Our treatment package has made him much more comfortable and giving him a good quality of life, and that's what we are looking for," said Schoep's Veterinarian Erik Haukaas

Laser therapy is decreasing swelling and pain for Schoep, who deals with arthritis.

"We're not looking to extend the time Schoep has with us. He's extremely old already. He's past everyone's expectations. What we're trying to do is make the time he has left with us more comfortable," said Haukass.

The therapy is working.

"The wag of his tail is harder and faster and his walk is amazingly faster what means he doesn't have that much pain anymore," said an exited Unger.

Unger's gratitude to his new fan base is something that's hard to put into words.

"Some people might say that's it's meant to be, the luck of the draw. How does one describe this?"

Whether it's luck or fate, Unger is just happy to share Schoep with the rest of the world.

Schoep's veterinarian says that swimming in Lake Superior does provide a therapeutic advantage for the aging dog's arthritis.