Few things in the world face longer odds than a starving abandoned dog. I got a fragile prayer request from one roaming the streets of Philadelphia. I flew down and found the depressed pup taking her last breaths. She had given up so many heartbeats to combat the cold and hunger she had very few remaining.
I had determined to sit with her on the cold sidewalk and wait for the dark angels to come when I saw, in the distance, a sliver of light. I walked closer, and there was a pretty house where someone had left the door open a crack. usually, I would have ignored it. Little good can come from a strange dog wandering enter a house unwelcome. But it was Christmas, the time for miracles.
I told the dog to go in the house. “It is warm in there, and there might be food and water.” The dog told me she could not break into a house. “You have nothing to lose. You can either go to the Bridge on this sidewalk, or be inside a warm home, and possibly see the dawn. It is Christmas. Believe."
As the dog slowly trotted into the house, I saw a man walking down the street. I rustled some leaves, and that made him look at the home. Being neighborly, and there being Christmas magic in the air, he decided to take it upon himself to close the door behind the dog. Now she was inside for the night and couldn't change her mind.
I suppose I could have gone into the home owner’s dreams and told him that there would be a strange dog downstairs who needed care, but that was too on the nose. I hoped that the person was kind-hearted, knew about Christmas miracles, and would help the sweet dog that was now under his roof.
Emily Jokinen went downstairs to find a pacifier for her daughter and saw the cold, wet dog in her house. All the windows and doors were closed. It was like the dog suddenly appeared. (It wasn't until she viewed the security footage that she saw how the dog got inside. Her husband, Jack, had left the door open after walking their dog Jorge Pawsada. She also saw her neighbor shut the door minutes before she awoke.)
She awoke Jeff, and they stayed up all night researching what to do when a dog magically appears in your living room. The repeated answer was to call Animal Control.
Animal control said that they would check the dog for a chip. They gave no assurances to what would happen afterward. Jack and Emily didn't like the sound of that. They determined to take what they assumed was a puppy to the emergency vet. Before going, Jack posted on Twitter about the magical pup. The responses were nearly unanimous. Whether he knew it or not, it was his dog now. You don't turn a Christmas miracle over to animal control.
The vet told them the unchipped girl was in a sorry state. She was a severely malnourished adult dog between seven and nine with worn footpads, fleas, and bad teeth. If they kept the dog, it would cost a fortune in medical fees to get her back to good health. But it was Christmas, the time of miracles and giving. When Jack announced on Twitter, they were keeping the dog; money began to flow into their Vinemo account for her care.
They named the dog Suzy after YES Network announcer Suzyn Waldman. Suzy is thriving in her new home. She loves their one years old daughter, and Jorge has welcomed Suzy to the family. She is the best Christmas gift they could receive.
Usually, a hungry and flea covered dog would have gone to the Bridge abandoned and without love. But at Christmas, with so much magic in the air, anything is possible.
Suzy is proof.