Sometimes The Internet Doesn’t Suck

How a picture of a man and his dog unleashed a torrent of human kindness.

Some days it's easy to think that the internet was a terrible, terrible idea. Reading through comments on YouTube or IMDB or Yahoo! will often bring despair - we humans, for all our technological advances, remain petty, ugly, hateful shits. 

But every now and again something happens that not only restores my faith in humanity, but also in the internet as a force for something other than spawning horrific brony subcultures. Such a story concerns the picture above, which you've probably seen by now on Reddit or Facebook or Twitter or any number of sites online. That picture is John Unger, floating in Lake Superior with his dog Schoep. It looks cute, but it's got a deeper meaning - Schoep has severe arthritis and may need to be put down. Unger brings Schoep to Lake Superior for water therapy, allowing the dog to float weightlessly and ease the pain in his joints, letting him get some rest. 

That's touching enough - a testament to the magical bond between humans and their pets. But what happened when that picture went viral is where the story gets amazing. 

“A woman from Virginia basically paid for the latest laser therapy on his joints,” [Unger] said. “She paid for a full treatment, and I don’t know how much it is, but I know I couldn’t have done that.”

Schoep just had his second installment of treatments Wednesday, and has four more to go. Unger got a surprise when he took Schoep in for his latest appointment. As he walked in, his vet smiled at him. “What’s going on?” Unger asked. His vet said, “See all the stuff behind me?” Unger looked, and there were packages of glucosamine, treats and other treatments to help Schoep with joint pain.

Unger cried as he said, “People from all over are doing this. I can’t believe it. So much has come in already in donations that I don’t have to worry about anything at the vet anymore.”

All of the donors are anonymous. “How do I thank them?” he said. “It’s just such an amazing thing.”

We cover topics like serial killers and exploitation movies and weird comic books and stupid toys, but in reality there's nothing quite as badass as the idea that people can be so simply decent to each other. It's getting a little dusty in here - I have to wipe my eyes.