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Love, support buys arthritic dog more time

  • John Unger and his dog Schoep captured people's hearts
  • Through donations, Unger has started a foundation, and Schoep has a great new life
John Unger and his dog Schoep in Lake Michigan

Interview: Schoep, the dog in the water

Interview: Schoep, the dog in the water

Do you remember this picture of John Unger comforting his elderly dog Schoep in the waters of Lake Superior? The shot that melted thousands of hearts has led to a happy ending, not only for man and dog, but for pet lovers everywhere.

After a family friend and photographer snapped Unger and Schoep enjoying a therapeutic swim, people around the world sent Unger their support, in forms of gifts, donations and kind words. In fact, according to Unger, so much financial support poured in, he used the funds to start a foundation called "Schoep's Legacy Foundation," which will provide assistance to dogs in need, and pet owners who have to care for their animals without insurance.

As for Schoep, his newfound fame has helped him regain a happy, comfortable life. The 19-year-old mixed breed suffers from arthritis, but thanks to donations, he has a fancy Tempur-Pedic bed, ergonomic water bowl and periodic laser treatments. He may be aging, but to Unger and those who follow his story, old dogs deserve to live wonderful lives, too.

"It is nothing but amazing!" Unger told the Huffington Post. "We want to thank everyone for their generous support and for helping us start Schoep's Legacy Foundation which will allow us to help many more animals and families. Schoep and I can't thank you enough!"

Unger and his friends also maintain a Facebook page that provides updates on Schoep's condition, and all sorts of resources for pet lovers.

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