4 am on Saturday meant that Jack Jokinen’s wife was usually waking him to help take care of their 1-month-old baby. However, at this particular moment, he realized that something was different.
As Jokinen said to The Dodo, “I was sleeping and my wife all the sudden woke me up, and she said, ‘The baby’s OK…but there’s a puppy in our house.’ Obviously, I was very confused.”
After he wandered downstairs, he spotted the small Lab mix sitting in his living room. He couldn’t figure out how the dog managed to get in as all the doors and windows were shut and locked in anticipation of the storm outside.
He reminisced, “The first thing I think is, ‘There has to be someone in our house.’ So I do a security sweep, making sure there’s no one hiding in closets or anything like that. And when I finish, I think, ‘How did this happen? A magical puppy?’”
Checking the home’s security footage from the front door’s camera, he saw himself return home from walking his 2-year-old dog George that evening. After he went inside, he closed the door, however, it didn’t lock. So, later, the wind was able to blow it open.
As he recalled, “Then at 3:16, on the camera, we can see the dog, we’ve named her Suzy, coming down the street and she stops outside our house. She was out in the rain and cold, and she kind of hesitated and then went into the house.”
On the footage, about half an hour later, someone walking by noticed the open front door. The good Samaritan went up to the house, checked if everything was fine, then closed the door.
As Jokinen noted, had the stranger not done that, Suzy might not have ended up staying.
“He didn’t know there was a dog in the house that wasn’t ours,” Jokinen said.
Both he and his wife dried off the small pup and tried to make her comfortable. The following morning they called animal control, but then quickly concluded that surrendering the sick stray might not be the best option.
“She was emaciated, teeth all over the place, only walking on three legs with no collar,” Jokinen said. “We thought, ‘If we just drop this dog off, who knows what will happen?’”
Instead, the couple brought the “puppy” to the vet where they were shocked to be told that she was actually 9-years-old! Poor Suzy was crawling with fleas and ticks. Plus, she had a paw infection as well as dental issues. They decided to help Suzy.
“We decided that of all the bad things that could happen by leaving your door open in the middle of winter in a major city, to end up with a sweet dog, who has come off the street … We have to at least give this a try,” Jokinen said.
Tweeting a picture of Suzy, Jokinen was surprised when the post went viral. Then, in less than 2 days, the family received $15,000 in donations to be put towards the senior dog’s medical bills.
Through the power of social media, Jokinen was also able to find the man who kindly closed the home’s door that night.
And the best part is, Suzy now has a warm and safe home with a family who love her – she will be able to live out her golden years in comfortable happiness!
“We’re able to do all this in a big part thanks to the generosity of the internet,” Jokinen said. “In a way, this isn’t our dog — it’s the internet’s dog.”
It was definitely lucky that Suzy picked that open door to wander into that night.