John & Shep On Lake Superior

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This 19 year old Shep being cradled in his father’s arms earlier this week in Lake Superior. Shep falls asleep every night when he is carried into the lake. I was so happy I got to capture this moment for John. By the way, John rescued Shep as an 8 month old puppy, and he’s been by his side through many adventures :).

This Facebook post has gone viral, and I am so excited to welcome new fans from all over!  I am in the midst of crazy season, and had no clue this would take off like it has.  Love to everyone!!  If you are interested in prints, please go here.


 This 19 year old Shep being cradled in his father's arms last night in Lake Superior. Shep falls asleep every night when he is carried into the lake. I was so happy I got to capture this moment for John. By the way, John rescued Shep as an 8 month old puppy, and he's been by his side through many adventures :).

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425 Comments on John & Shep On Lake Superior

  1. Darlene
    September 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm (10 years ago)

    Such a beautiful moment , If only there were more people in the world like this.

  2. Cydney
    September 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm (10 years ago)

    The dog is sweet, but the man is what I can’t take my eyes off of! Everything about him is beautiful to me. If I lived near Lake Superior I would probably be out there hoping to meet the man, and the dog.

  3. Gina
    September 27, 2012 at 7:29 am (10 years ago)


  4. Tracy
    September 28, 2012 at 5:27 am (10 years ago)

    This picture is one of the most touching images I think I have ever seen.
    The true love of a man and his beloved dog. God bless him and his Shep!

  5. Richard
    September 28, 2012 at 10:06 am (10 years ago)

    Animals are our brothers and sisters. All the best from Germany!

  6. Dennis Lordon
    September 29, 2012 at 12:29 am (10 years ago)

    This is a very powerful and touching picture…

  7. Olivia
    September 29, 2012 at 9:37 am (10 years ago)

    An amazing picture and a lot of emotions experienced because of it…It brings me back to my childhood dog who we had to put down at the age of 16 (I was 18 years old). My mom and dad used to do everything they could to make sure she was comfortable. Our dogs are truly part of the family.

  8. Sigrid
    September 30, 2012 at 10:59 am (10 years ago)

    I’m sitting here in tears about John and Shep. This photo shows the deep love between the gorgeous dog and his friend John. It’s touching my heart and I hope both of them will have many more good days and lots of great moments together. Please excuse my bad english, I’m german. And this story is sooo heartbreaking – I send my best wishes to John and Shep!

  9. Linda Andersen
    September 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm (10 years ago)


    I was very touched by your special companionship with Shep. I too have an elderly doggie that I adore and she has very bad arthritis also. After trying several things, I have found a couple of different products that are really helping her. I’d like to tell you about them. Please visit my website (I’m a concert violinist) and email me from there so I can tell you about them. I truly believe I can help you and Shep. I’d love I’d to be able to share what I’ve discovered after years of struggling with my doggie’s arthritis. Please write me Jay. Most Sincerely, Linda

  10. Linda Andersen
    September 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm (10 years ago)


    I’m trying to post my website address but this comment section won’t let me do it.
    So, if you just Google search “Linda Andersen” violin lessons Pittsburgh my website called
    “Linda Andersen Studios: Violin and Viola Lessons” should be at the top of the search list.
    You can email me personally from there. I hope to hear from you Jay.

  11. Connie
    September 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm (10 years ago)

    This picture is the most quietest moment between friends simply put just peaceful for both of them

  12. thomas bratkovich
    October 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm (10 years ago)

    A man, troubled by his life having endured a painful breakup with his fiance a year earlier; goes to a breakwater on Lake Michigan; desperate for answers. He ponders ending it all right then. He thinks it all over and over, in his mind; yet there are no answers. His beloved companion, his buddy, knows something is terribly wrong. His buddy responds, not with answers; but with a look, a plea: if you do this, who will take care of me? Who will love me? I love you. We have each other. Isn’t that enough for right now? We can work on things. Make life better. We will lean on each other. Let’s get off this breakwater. Let’s walk together the rest of the nite. I need you, dad, and you need me. Let’s get on with it then. Take my leash. Follow me. I know the way. Together we’ll find the answers! And so 2 lives were saved!!
    That was 18 years ago in Milwaukee. That man was John Unger. As he followed his companion off the breakwater; he made a promise that he will always be there for him. That he will always do his best for him. That he will always love him, provide for him, and comfort him, no matter the circumstances, until the very end. John Unger is keeping his promise. We all see it on our computers. Is it any wonder we are all humbled by this man’s compassion? Is it any wonder he touches our souls and our hearts? The world is on your side, John Unger, you cannot imagine how we love you and respect you.

  13. thomas bratkovich
    October 2, 2012 at 4:12 am (10 years ago)

    This iconic image will be relevant 500 years from now. It will touch those that view it. It will evoke all that future generations strive for; all that is good about humanity. Those who find it centuries from now, millenia from now; will know that there WERE people who walked this earth centuries earlier that were champions of kindness, compassion, love. That is what makes this photograph TIMELESS.

    The international community thanks you, Ms. Hudson, for being there to capture this moment and record it forever. Peace from the Willamette Valley, Oregon.

  14. Kerry
    October 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm (10 years ago)

    I, like probably everyone else, was touched and brought to tears by the intimacy of this caring portrait. I have a group of oldsters myself, 10, 11 and 12 and recently lost a 13 yr old. He, Cleavis, and the 11 yr old, Lil, have been with me almost their whole lives, longer than almost anyone else in my life. So also, like probably everyone else, I come back to this photo of Schoep, and wonder how they are now. I hope that you or John will post to FB about him, since they have both touched so many hearts. Thank you for saying with this image what cannot be conveyed with words.

  15. Maitland Montgomery
    October 17, 2012 at 8:26 am (10 years ago)

    This photo is wonderful. How can I get a copy?

  16. RC Mann
    October 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm (10 years ago)

    I was linked to them on Facebook, saw that they were on The Doctors today, but now the link is gone. Wonderful story though. We have a 15 y/o mutt and cannot imagine life without her, but are getting ready for the inevitable. Wishing Jon & Shep more time together, pain free.

  17. kay baldwin
    October 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm (10 years ago)

    How wonderful to see this, no better trust, no greater love. Would be so great if people could love and trust each other like this.

  18. Keiko Chikamatsu
    November 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm (10 years ago)

    I was touched, eased and encouraged a lot by this photo with tears. As we welcomed 2-month puppy at our home, we’be been struggling in every ways. I would like to build this trustful relationship with Alex, our dog.

  19. K.K Supa
    November 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm (10 years ago)

    Wasn’t there a deeper story into this picture, like the dog was ill?

  20. Hannah
    November 12, 2012 at 8:58 am (10 years ago)

    He has arthritis – other than that he is very healthy 🙂

  21. Martha J Sayers
    November 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm (9 years ago)

    God Bless them both – a beautiful and devoted relationship! (made me cry – I could not help but think of my boy Bear).
    I hope they are both still doing well and wish them well.

  22. Carol
    December 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm (9 years ago)

    If every pet owner were like John this world would be a much happier planet for animals. I have several cats and dogs myself, most rescued, thank goodness I live in the country so they lots of space to run and play. But I love them all every day. A dedicated pet owner like this man is a credit to humanity and bless the photographer to captured such a humane and loving moment. This photo is beautiful, in many ways.

  23. Meredith
    December 24, 2012 at 9:02 am (9 years ago)

    Hi John
    saw your touching story on the Drs show today December 24th 2012
    Wanted to say i am a major animal lover and my heart and sole goes out to u and ur beautuful dog , i am so gald u
    are doing all u can for him, i would do all i could to for my pets, i have a father who is a vet , so u can imagine what i have been through and seen, i just recently lost my loving step fathher to cancer last february , i would do anything to have back in my life just one more time , he and i were close….. well anyway Hope you have Merry christmas and all the best in 2013

  24. Damian G. Finch
    December 24, 2012 at 9:09 am (9 years ago)

    Hi. I would like to obtain a copy of this beautiful photograph. Is the image for sale for personal use?


  25. Richard
    December 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm (9 years ago)

    So wonderful is this story and photograph that I have featured it on my website: A Lonely It deserves all the attention possible to expose the kindness, compassion and love that truly exists in our world. Thanks for allowing me to spread the message through your powerful amd amazing photo. What a gift to the world!!!

  26. Hannah
    December 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm (9 years ago)

    Share away! We need to spread this message of love 🙂

  27. al malpa
    December 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm (9 years ago)

    Hello, I’m a newspaper photographer and a dog nut. Are you selling prints of John & Shep On Lake Superior? Thanks, Al

  28. Dwayne J Bell
    January 19, 2013 at 10:06 am (9 years ago)

    Very few things have touched me like this photo. John and Shep are an inpiration for love,respect, dignity and care on a level that is to be admired. What a wonderful photo and I can tell you if there are photo contests anywhere in the world you will win hands down simply because this photo captures the true essence of love.

  29. Sylvia Grant
    February 6, 2013 at 7:40 am (9 years ago)

    Hi John,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful and unique bond with Shep on The Doctors. It was aired in Australia on 06Feb2013.
    I heard that a magnetic mattress underlay, and also Rosehip Vital plus Vegetarian Glucosamine help ease arthritic pain.
    All the best to you and Shep!
    Thanks to Hannah for capturing this magic moment.

  30. Lori Hainey
    February 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm (9 years ago)

    There is a form of massage called myofascial massage that may be helpful to John’s dog. If someone can get this info to him. Tell him to look with someone who trained with John F. Barnes. I had horrible pain from car accident that caused me to be in tears walking few steps across room. Thie myofascial has given me relief from pain. My one cat had then gone thru bladder surgery & had difficult recovery time. I was concerned I would lose him. My myofascial therapist worked on him & he was good as new again. He loves it nw. All I have to say when pain hits him is ‘do you want to get some therapy’ & he perks up a bit. After treatment he is paying again. He is 12 & have very debilitating pancreatic condition that causes excess calcium and crystals to form in his intestines, pancreatic duct & bladder. It is very painful disorder but the myofascial has given him relief so he can have quality of life back.

  31. Lori Hainey
    February 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm (9 years ago)

    I have done animal rescue & animal advocacy work for years. It is refreshing to see someone stand by their animal when they hit health issues instead of tossing them aside like so many do. God bless this man and his dog!

  32. Mary Stellmach
    February 16, 2013 at 12:53 pm (9 years ago)

    I had to put my best friend for 13years,Sasha, to sleep this past summer. When I saw your photo of John and Scoep, it took my breath away and made me
    Cry. It is such a moving photo. You have captured the very essence of the love and trust between man and dog, the love that people do not understand if they
    Have not had a pet in their life. Thank you for that. I am ordering a print so I can look at it everyday.

  33. Flora
    June 7, 2013 at 8:58 am (9 years ago)

    Merci! Merci! Merci!….. pour ce si beau moment…

  34. Flight-1990
    June 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm (9 years ago)

    Love you Shep!

  35. Jeremy Rule
    July 1, 2013 at 8:59 pm (9 years ago)

    Just say this story on the Drs show,shed a tear because I feel for both, as I remember the good time with best mate TARA cross assie cattle dog,cheers and top story

  36. Barbara
    July 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm (9 years ago)

    Dear John, I saw you beautiful story yesterday in Australia on the Dr’s, I am a animal Lover through and through, I have had 9 German Shepherds, I lost one 18 months ago, now have Zack who is 12 months Old, I adore your story and Photo, my dogs like yours bring so much to your life, I cry every time I Look at that beautiful photo keep up the good work you have an amazing bond with Shep. Best Wishes from Australia.

  37. Kanna Jones
    July 5, 2013 at 10:17 pm (9 years ago)

    What a beautiful photo this is! The story is absolutely touching.
    In fact, I did the exactly same thing for my dog when he no could no longer walk. It was a swimming pool and wasn’t quite beautiful like your story. His arthritis became severe and I used to push him in a stroller. He needed to exercise so I took him to the pool. He learned swimming and had great time in the water till he lost the strength to swim a year before he passed.
    I recently received canine water therapy and am currently looking for a pool to help more dogs. Thank you for sharing this amazing photo.

  38. JUDI
    July 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm (9 years ago)

    hELLO jOHN


  39. Joanna Self
    July 19, 2013 at 8:10 am (9 years ago)

    Such a wonderful photo of two wonderful subjects, thank you for taking it. RIP Sweetheart. xxx

  40. nancy duran
    July 19, 2013 at 11:10 am (9 years ago)

    hola queridos amigos!! Iam write from spain, valencia, I like photo john & shep. LOVE,LOVE LOVE FOREVER!!

  41. Nancy Tricola
    July 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm (9 years ago)

    Well I just read the saddest news that Schoep has passed over. This picture hit as I was bawling daily over my 15 yr old 4 legged son over the possiblity I would have to make THAT descision very soon. The picture spoke of love caring compassion and trust. On both sides. It reminded me that Bruno trusted me to take care of him. That my love would have to get us both through the hardest choice ever made by a pet owner. That my love could be selfish if I let it. What will be best for Bruno would just shatter my heart but that he trusted me to do the best and right thing for him and no matter the cost to me I couldn’t let him down.
    John…remember the love showing in this picture as the days unfold. Schoep had a life that was filled with love and joy. Remember the good times. Schoep will always be in your heart and thoughts as it should be. Don’t mourn the life lost…rejoice in the love shared.

  42. bob naegele
    July 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm (9 years ago)

    this beautiful photo will become THE iconic image for dog lovers.

    Saw it when it was first posted, loved it then. Saw it again today when yahoo noted Shep’s passing.

    You will not appreciate this image and what it means until you have shared your life with a dog who is truly devoted to you. The day you look in your friend’s eyes and know it is time, well, you feel like your heart is being ripped out.

    There a lots of lovely pictures of people with their pets, but…

  43. BrothrBob
    July 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm (9 years ago)

    I was in tears when I heard Shep died. As n animal lover, I was really upset to hear this.

  44. Kristen Ginchereau
    July 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Dear John, 7-19-2013. I am so very sorry about your beautiful dog& best friend. !!! TodayI write you on the. 11 mount. without my husband. !!he at 61 had a massive heartache and I found him dead in his favorite chair!! We had worked in Hollywood making movies. One day we were shooting That Thing you at The Ambassador Hotel Where Kennedy was shoot 1995. and the cutest dog had been dumped there,the person who dumped her never came back. My husband & I just fell in LOVE,LOVE, LOVE with her, our vet said she was approx 6 months old! She was a pug/jack russet mix he thought. She was our child since we had no kids. Well she was the best dog ever, she was 140 years old when she died on June 29th 2013 !!! I had her cream acted and when I get the guts I’ll put them Father & Daughtert together!!! Someday I hope& pray that we can both get each new buddies , there are so many that need our love. God bless you and I know Jim my man, Cleo & Shep are all together in heaven with God !!! Take Care of yourself. Lots of Love & Licks from our best friends !!! They are running like crazy & are happy. Love Kristen. XX & OO’s

3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on John & Shep On Lake Superior

  1. […] Work, Stories & How-to's | 0 comments I was already doing furchild sessions when the John & Schoep photo went nuts – but the publicity I have gotten from it has led to some AMAZING […]

  2. […] Note from Richard: It has been said “that a dog is man’s best friend”. This wonderful photo compels us to realize how deep that bond goes between Shep and his caring owner John. A powerful example of love and compassion in action as captured by photographer Hanna Stonehouse Hudson. Link: […]

  3. […] My 2012 was amazing, to say the least!  I have been in awe of how much good can come from one photo, and one gift to a friend. We have been named to so many “Best of ” lists all over the […]

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