Couple Startled To Find Injured Malnourished Dog Had Wandered into Their Home in Middle of Night

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What would you do if you woke up, went downstairs and discovered an unfamiliar dog inside your home? Emily and Jack Jokinen encountered that very situation and were so stunned they thought at first it must be some sort of joke.

It started when Emily went downstairs in the early morning hours to get something for their baby and discovered the skinny dog in their home.

“She woke me up and said ‘The baby is fine, but there is a puppy in our house,'” Jack told NBC’s “Today.” “I wasn’t sure — honestly, I was just like, ‘What does that mean? You said words that I know, but they don’t go in that order.’ And at the same time, my parents are visiting, and I did wonder, like, ‘Is this a messed-up Christmas gift?'”

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“I went downstairs, and on the first floor, in the middle of our house, there was sitting what looked to be like a cold, wet puppy. The front door was locked, the back door was locked, windows closed, everything. There was kind of this mystery puppy, in our house, and we had no idea how it got here.”

The Jokinens are no strangers to dogs, having one of their own named Jorge Pawsada. They puzzled over the new pup, though, wondering how in the world it could’ve shown up in their closed home.

“I just woke up to this puppy in my house and we have no idea how it got here,” Jack tweeted on Saturday.

But footage revealed the slightly unnerving and yet terribly heartwarming truth. Somehow, after Jorge’s evening walk, the door had been left open. At around 3:16 a.m., the unfamiliar dog passed by the house, limping.

It limped out of frame, but then came back, tentatively sniffing at the open door and then carefully walking in.

“We don’t know if it was the light, the warmth, smelling George [the couple’s nickname for Jorge Pawsada], that she came in the house, and then she went out of it, and kind of on our porch, and then she was in the house,” Jack told Today.

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A neighbor walked by the house some time later, noticed the open door and closed it.

“Some guy walked by and just closed our door without murdering us or stealing anything. Shout to him,” Jack added on Twitter.

They took her to the vet that day, where they learned she was no puppy at all, but a dog firmly in her middle age, between seven and nine years old. Her appearance suggested that no one had loved her in a while.

“Vitals are decent, teeth are damaged, fleas, no vaccinations, pad missing on her feet,” Jack wrote in an update. The malnourished dog weighed about half of what she should weigh.

As they got the news on her status, Jack knew he couldn’t let the dog who’d wandered into their lives go back to wherever she’d come from.

“This dog can’t go back wherever she was, even if there was a chip,” he said. “I don’t know if it was lucky or not, but there was no chip.”

Commenters immediately pointed out that this dog had clearly chosen the family: It was meant to be.

“People started to jump on it,” he said. “There was a lot of ‘That’s your dog.’ It really started to feel like she was our dog. Some people said ‘If you can’t take this dog, I’ll take the dog, she looks scared.’ Others said ‘If you need money to help with that dog, we’ll send money.'”

“She’s been through a lot,” he continued. “She’s not where she should be, health-wise, but she’s not where she was, and we’re going in the right direction … And when you look at her, and you look at the winter weather that’s been coming through the area, if she didn’t find that door, she probably doesn’t see the New Year, if she even sees Christmas, and I think she’s just happy to be warm and loved and fed.”

For now, she’s taken up residence with the family, fitting in well, living in luxury and being named “Suzy Pupman.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking