Man’s Best Friend


By Sarah Ah Loy

This week’s “Random Act of Awesome’ comes via Hannah Stonehouse Hudson from Stonehouse Photography.

Last year Hannah took this beautiful picture of John Unger and his 19-year-old dog Shoep in Lake Superior, Wisconsin.  John adopted Shoep when he was just 8 months old and they have been inseparable ever since.

As Shoep got older he developed arthritis in his legs, which began to painfully impact his sleep. Thoughtful owner John discovered that water was good pain relief for arthritis. He began taking Shoep into the lake so that he could experience pain free moments of sleep in the comfort of his arms.

Immediately after posting this picture to Facebook in August 2012, it went viral.

Very quickly John & Shoep were experiencing the generosity of warm-hearted fans that wrote in letters of appreciation for their story. They donated a brand new ‘tempur-pedic’ dog bed and laser treatments for Shoep’s arthritis.  John was so overwhelmed by the response from people, he made this comment to his 324,000 Facebook fans in September.

“Reading the comments, posts, and letters from everyone is so powerful. The kindness and support offered to me and Shoep, and to each other, is truly amazing. It shows that there are good people with big hearts in the world!”

Shoep passed away just after his 20th birthday this year. John’s random act of awesome turned Shoep into an overnight celebrity, giving him one wild and very adventurous last year of life.

I really loved this story for many reasons, but particularly for the powerful domino effect that this random act of awesome inspired in the community. If you want to read more about Shoep & John’s eventful final year together head on over and visit their Facebook page.

Have a great week,

Sarah 🙂

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