At 4 in the morning, Jack Jokinen was nudged awake by his wife to tell him that there was a random dog inside their house. Confused about how he managed to get in, he checked their home security footage and finally figured how she did it.
Accustomed to early morning wake-ups, Jack thought that his wife woke him up because of their 1-month-old baby. Instead, it was for something he never thought would happen.
“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,’” Jack told The Dodo. “Obviously, I was very confused.”
Jack went downstairs to check and immediately caught sight of what looked like a small Lab mix sitting in their living room. He knew that all the doors and windows in their whole house were shut tight against the storm outside, so he couldn’t think of any possible way for the dog to get in.
“The first thing I think is, ‘There has to be someone in our house,’” he said. “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?’”
He checked security footage from the camera by their front door and watched as he got home from walking his two-year-old dog George the night before.
He headed inside and closed the door, but what he didn’t know was that it didn’t latch. When the strong winds hit later that night, the front door was blown wide 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,” Jack said of the security footage.
“She was out in the rain and cold, and she kind of hesitated and then went into the house.”
About 30 minutes later, a passerby walked past their house and noticed the open door. He peeped in to see if everything was okay before closing it completely.
If it weren’t for the stranger’s kindness, Jack noted that Suzy might have never stayed the night.
“He didn’t know there was a dog in the house that wasn’t ours,” he said.
Jack and his wife dried off Suzy to make her feel comfortable. They contacted animal control the following day, but later realized that surrendering her might not be the best decision for the sick pup.
“She was emaciated, teeth all over the place, only walking on three legs with no collar,” Jack said. “We thought, ‘If we just drop this dog off, who knows what will happen?’”
Instead, they brought her to the vet and was shocked to learn that the dog was actually about 9 years old. Poor Suzy didn’t have a microchip in her, and she was covered in fleas and ticks.
She was also suffering from a paw infection and some dental issues. Jack and his wife decided that the best way for them to help Suzy recover is to adopt her.
“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,” Jack said.
Jack shared Suzy’s story on Twitter along with a plea for donations for her treatment. To his surprise, he was able to collect $15,000 in donations in less than two days. Through the power of social media, Jack was also able to trace the kind stranger who closed his front door that night.
Now in the company of Jack and his wife, Suzy is now safe and warm in a place that is now her real home.
“We’re able to do all this in a big part thanks to the generosity of the internet,” Jack said. “In a way, this isn’t our dog — it’s the internet’s dog.”
Watch the video from the security footage below to hear Jack himself share Suzy’s story.
We believe that it isn’t mere coincidence that Jack’s front door was left open that night and that Suzy found her way to their home. It was clearly meant to be!