The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Remember John Unger? His Video Went Viral Showing Him Cuddling Schoep, His 19-Year-Old Dog in Lake Superior to Help with His Arthritis Pain - He Gets a New Puppy The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Remember John Unger? His Video Went Viral Showing Him Cuddling Schoep, His 19-Year-Old Dog in Lake Superior to Help with His Arthritis Pain - He Gets a New Puppy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Remember John Unger? His Video Went Viral Showing Him Cuddling Schoep, His 19-Year-Old Dog in Lake Superior to Help with His Arthritis Pain - He Gets a New Puppy


 Bayfield, Wis. - John Unger and his dog Schoep became an internet sensation three years ago after photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, snapped a sweet moment of them on Lake Superior.

Schoep loved the water but arthritis settled into his joints which made it hard to swim or even walk. So, Unger would just hold Schoep on his chest in the water, sometimes for hours.

"He was my life," Unger said.

Twenty years ago Unger was battling depression when he found Schoep in a shelter.

"He saved me that night and I could only do my very best for him after that," he said.

It was the best to the very end. A year and a half ago, Schoep passed away.

"It was really tough after Schoep left and didn't know what to do with my time," Unger said.

Months passed. The thought of moving on came and went. Unger thought about getting a new dog but nothing seemed right.

"It was re-learning how to live and once I learned that and once I got through the toughness of his love that's when I started searching again," Unger said.

Ninety miles away in Hayward someone else was searching too. A few days ago several dogs were surrendered to the Northwoods Humane Society. Among them was one-year-old Bear. Older dogs and black dogs like Bear often have trouble finding new homes, according to Kim Molitor, who works for the shelter. But a suitor was already at the front door.

"I was like cool. He's like a surfer dude from California. He's going to get along with all the dogs," Molitor said after the long-haired Unger walked in.

Molitor had no idea who the "long-haired surfer dude" was until a co-worker recognized the name.

"I got chills. I couldn't' believe it. He's in the water with the dog and it was beautiful," Molitor said.

Just as beautiful was the moment Unger met Bear.

"It was just unison. It was just you know, in love from the moment they said hello to each other," Molitor said.

In less than a week together Unger and Bear have their walk down. But there are some things they are still learning about each other, like whether Bear likes playing with sticks or a ball.

Starting over is never easy but Unger learned years ago from his first love that it's a chance worth taking.

"I talk to him still. Thank him for everything," Unger said.

If you'd like to send John and Bear a welcome message you can write to them at P.O. Box 434, Bayfield, WI 54814.



If you missed the video that went viral, you can view it here:
Dog Owner Cuddles His 19 Year Old Dog in Lake Superior to Help with Arthritis Pain - Picture and Video Have Gone Viral

You may also be interested in reading:
Update! Dog Owner Cuddles His 19 Year-Old Dog in Lake Superior is Now Receiving Donations







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