A photo may be worth 1,000 words, but professional photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudsonhas learned it can also be worth 2.2 million views, 191,162 likes, 108,766 shares and 21,936 comments (and counting) on Facebook.

“My specialty is documenting relationships, whether it’s a wedding or a man and his dog,” says the Bayfield, Wis., photographer. “I have known my friend John and his dog, Schoep, for six years. I have seen Schoep age — he’s 19 now. John lives his life in a kind way. He rescued this dog as a puppy, they have gone everywhere together ever since. Schoep has arthritis now, and John finds that the water is therapeutic. He is the kind of person who wants his animals to be comfortable. I wanted to capture their relationship. I told John, ‘I really need to get photos of you and your dog.’

Last Tuesday, we met at the beach for the photo. While John swam with the dog, I got on the dock so I could be at eye level. It took five minutes.

“In the shot, the dog is completely relaxed, with his head on John’s shoulder, eyes closed, out cold. John’s eyes are closed, too. The water is calm. It’s completely serene.

“That night, I wrote on Facebook about the amazing photo session I had just had with a dog that is 19 years old and his human. It was just a preview of the photo, but people freaked out about it. I had no idea they’d get so excited!

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