Animals News Stories

Starving dog wanders into open house door in the middle of the night and finds a forever family

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About six weeks ago now, a Bronx-based man was shaken awake by his wife at around 4 a.m. At first, Jack Jokinen though his wife was waking him up to tend to their 1-month-old baby. He soon learned, however, that there was a different baby that needed tending to; a dog that had let herself in from the cold.

“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,” recalls Jokinene in an interview with The Dodo.

Sure enough, when Jokinen got to the bottom of his stares his attention was immediately drawn to a lab pup seated in his living room. Though he was thankful there was no threat, he couldn’t help but wonder how she got there.

Jokinen knew he’d shut the door the night before, and all of his windows were locked up. So, how on earth could the dog have gotten in?

That’s when he began to worry that the dog might not be alone.

“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?’” Jokinen explains his thought process.

After thinking it through and coming up empty as to how the dog got in the house, Jokinen decided to take a look at the footage from his front-door security camera. He took the video back to the previous evening when he came back home from taking his dog, George, out for his evening walk.

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The video shows Jokinen and his dog going back inside and closing the door behind them.

Not long after, lo and behold! The door swings open. Jokinen figures that the door didn’t latch properly when he shut it, and when it got windy later that night, it blew the door right open.

“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,” Jokinen describes.

As it turns out, there was someone else on the video; the dog’s angel.

It was all fine and well that the video showed how Suzy got in, but it left Jokinen with another question. If the wind blew the door open the night before, why was it closed when he went downstairs? Well, the answer came about 25 minutes later into the video.

At 3:41 a.m., the video shows a Good Samaritan walking by and stops when he sees the open door. Clearly thinking it odd, he walks up and yells inside to see if everything is okay. Not getting an answer but seeing that everything looked normal, he kindly pulled the door firmly shut.

Jokinen says if it hadn’t been for this stranger, he may have never wound up meeting Suzy, his new dog.

After toweling the rest of the stormy weather off of Suzy, it became apparent that surrendering her might be a death sentence.

“She was emaciated, teeth all over the place, only walking on three legs with no collar. We thought, ‘If we just drop this dog off, who knows what will happen?’” he recalls.

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With that in mind, they decided to keep the dog and headed over to get her checked out by their vet. Jokinen believed that the tiny lab was just a puppy. He and his wife were stunned to learn that, in fact, she was a fully grown 9-year-old dog.

The poor dog was so malnourished that it made her look like a puppy. You could see all of her bones sticking out and she was suffering from both a tick and flea infestation. On top of it all, she had dental problems and a paw infection, which is why she struggled to climb Jokinen’s stairs. Jokinen and his wife knew they had to help get her healthy again.

“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,” said Jokinen.

Getting Suzy all the treatment and care she needed wasn’t going to be cheap, though. Fortunately, that’s where this dog’s story gets even better.

Jokinen posted a picture of the dog to Twitter, explaining her story in the caption. He was shocked to see the post go crazy viral. Within just 48 hours of uploading her photo, compassionate netizens had voluntarily donated a collective of $15,000 to put toward Suzy’s medical bills.

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The viral post even helped Jokinen find the kind man that pulled his door shut that night.

As Suzy heals in her new house, in her new cozy bed, with her brand new forever family, her dad has made sure to thank everyone involved in her rescue.

“We’re able to do all this in a big part thanks to the generosity of the internet. In a way, this isn’t our dog — it’s the internet’s dog,” he said.
Well, if that’s the case then the internet is the luckiest place in the world to have a sweet dog like Suzy. To learn more about her incredible story, watch the video below.

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both dogs are clever
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