Jokinen worried that someone had broken into their Philadelphia house with the dog in tow. He checked the doors and then the windows. Everything was locked, and no one was hiding in the closets. So Jokinen pulled up the footage from his security camera.
The video solved the mystery. Around 3:15 a.m., a dog limped down the sidewalk past Jokinen’s house and then doubled back to look up the staircase leading to the home. She walked away and returned one last time before she cautiously pattered up the five steps and through the open front door.
Twenty-five minutes later, a passerby noticed that the door was ajar, yelled into the house to ask whether everyone was okay and pulled the door shut.
Jokinen said he had walked their other dog, George, in the rain the previous evening. Juggling an umbrella and a wet dog as he reentered the house, he pulled the door shut. He learned later that it had not locked and wind had blown it open during the night.
He and Emily plotted their next steps.
“I just start Googling, ‘What do you do when you find a dog?’ because there’s really no playbook for this,” Jokinen said. “And surprisingly, we’ve never found a dog in our house before.”
The couple didn’t have the heart to turn her over to animal control. Instead, the Jokinens brought the dog to an emergency vet and paid for a $72 exam. They learned that she had ticks and fleas, damaged teeth, infected paws and an atrophied leg.
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Soooo... last night, exactly 1 month to the day since our daughter was born, at 3:45 AM I left our bedroom to grab a pacifier. When I opened the bedroom door I was shocked to find a stray dog on our stairs. She was extremely terrified, cold, wet, visibly malnourished and walking with a limp. Upon checking security footage, we discovered that our front door didn’t latch correctly last night, the wind pushed it open and this little girl found her way in. (Luckily, a good samaritan walked by 15 mins later and shut our door for us! Major thanks to that guy!) After a sleepless night, a visit to @artcityvets and several discussions about how impractical it would be to add a senior, stray dog with major medical issues to our family at this point in our lives, we decided to bring her home with us indefinitely. We’ve named her Suzy, and she’s got a long road ahead of her, but we intend to give her a dignified life and a happy home for the remainder of her years. I hate when people say “Everything happens for a reason”, but I really do feel like this happened for a reason. Merry Christmas, everybody.
The dog didn’t have a microchip, but that was perfectly fine with the Jokinens. They decided by that point they wanted to make the dog, who is between 7 and 9 years old, the newest member of their family. They named her Suzyn Pupman after New York Yankees sportscaster Suzyn Waldman, who emailed Jokinen to express her pleasure at the whole thing.
Jokinen, who blogs and hosts a podcast about the Yankees, tweeted about Suzy’s adventure to his 35,000 followers as it played out. The story spread rapidly, and people soon started volunteering to send donations for the dog’s care.
Jokinen is collecting donations through Venmo and PayPal while maintaining a public spreadsheet detailing where the money will go. Any funds that are left over after Suzy is nursed back to health will go to a yet-to-be-determined charity, Jokinen said. He said he had raised more than $25,000 as of Wednesday evening.
A neighborhood Facebook group even helped Jokinen connect with the man who had closed the couple’s open door, and Jokinen took him to dinner at a steakhouse to thank him.
Suzy, meanwhile, has taken her newfound fame in stride. After she was featured on the cover of the Philadelphia Daily News on Tuesday, she calmly posed for a photo with the homage.
“Of all the bad things that could happen when your front door is left open, to end up with a sweet dog who just needs a good home?” Jokinen said in a video that he shared online. “I mean, wow, this could have gone a lot worse.”
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@philadoptables sent me my own bed and I LOVE it!!! Thanks for letting me borrow yours @jorge_pawsada • • • #goodgirl #rescuedogsofinstagram #rescuedog #rescuedogsrock #christmas #mixedbreed #fishtowndogs #phillydogs #dogsoffishtown #dogsofphilly #adoptdontshop #pupper #doggo #seniordog #seniordogsrule #chewyboxlove
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