Christmas came early for Jack Jokinen and his wife, Emily. The Philadelphia couple woke up one night to find a stray dog in their home, with no idea how she got there. Jack's wife went downstairs to look for a pacifier for their 1-month-old daughter, he told TODAY.
"She woke me up and said 'The baby is fine, but there is a puppy in our house,'" Jack recalled. "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?'"
Jack said that all the doors and windows were locked, so he and Emily were trying to figure out how the dog, who was malnourished and injured, got into the house.
"There was just a puppy in the first floor of our house with all the windows closed and locked, so it may be a magician puppy. Very freaky."
Security footage showed that the couple's neighbor, Steve Griendling, had seen that their door was left open, so he closed it. Apparently Jack had walked the family's other dog, George, earlier that night and didn't close the door all the way.
"I yelled inside to see if somebody was there," Griendling told local Pennsylvania station WCTV. "The dog didn't even respond, so the dog was probably just looking for some place warm."
Suzy -- as they decided to call her -- didn't have a chip, had a lot of health problems and only weighed about 19 pounds (she should be between 35 and 40 pounds, according to an emergency vet Jack and Emily took her to).
As Jack started to share photos of Suzy on Twitter, strangers (both private and public, like former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee) started to refer to Suzy as Jack's dog.
"People started to jump on it. There was a lot of 'That's your dog,'" Jack said. "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.'"
Jack says he's blown away by people's generosity and has since directed donors to a Venmo page, which has raised more than $15,000. Right now Suzy's care is costing him and Emily about $1,000; any leftover money will go to charity.
"We look at it and we say, so much of the world and this country, we're all fighting with each other," Jack told TODAY. "It's the holiday season and it's not about us, it's about this dog that people have found faith in. It's about this guy Steve, who walked past my house and decided not to take my wife's wallet but to close the door. We're simply the vessel of this story, and anything we do to keep it going and spread the awareness that there are good people out there...Suzy is not really our dog. She's kind of the Internet's dog at this point."
Below is Jack's full story of how Suzy came into his family's life. Oh, and be sure to follow Suzy on Instagram!