Malnourished dog finds forever home after 'perfect storm' in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It was the perfect storm, literally, for a wandering, malnourished dog and her new family in Philadelphia.

Jack Jokinen, a popular New York Yankees fan who hosts the George's Box podcast, said he and his family woke up to a malnourished dog on the first floor of their Philadelphia home on Saturday morning.

Hours before, Jokinen says he was walking his dog, George, and remembers coming back home and shutting his door that functions with an electric lock.

It appears the door didn't shut all the way and an early morning storm blew the door wide open while he, his wife and one-month-old child slept upstairs.

Around 3:15 a.m., video captured the dog, now named Suzy after Yankees sportscaster, Suzyn Waldman, hobbling up Jokinen's block on York Street in the city's Fishtown section.



"You can see the dog come past the house and kind of stop and look. She went in and out a couple of times," said Jokinen.



Video shows the dog walk past Jokinen's home, but eventually, come back and ultimately go inside his home.

With the door wide open, anything could have happened.

"My wife's wallet was 10-feet from the door. We could have been murdered," said Jokinen.

But that's where 35-year-old Steven Griendling comes in.

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It was the perfect storm, literally, for a wandering, malnourished dog and her new family in Philadelphia. (Video/Jack Jokinen)



Griendling, who works at a bar in Northern Liberties, says he was walking home after a late night when he noticed the door open.

"Yea, I was just walking by, it was raining. I saw the door open. I passed by it, then I just doubled back and kind of peeked over the stoop and looked inside and saw all the lights were on--which I thought was weird," said Griendling.

Griendling made the decision to shut Jokinen's door and head home.

"I used to make a lot of poor decisions, now I'm trying to make better ones," said Griendling when asked about why he chose to close the door.

It's a decision that left Jokinen's family confused but forever changed.

Jokinen tells Action News that his wife initially found the dog in their house after she went to grab a pacifier for their child.


"She came back and said, '"The baby is ok but there is a puppy in our house,'" recounted Jokinen. "There was a puppy sitting there, wet, cold, shaking and afraid.

Jokinen says he's never been a dog person, but he got his current dog, George, for his wife.

George and Jokinen have since grown a special bond, and George, who Jokinen's podcast is named after, even went to Citizens Bank Park for a "Bark at the Park" feature.



So the decision was pretty easy to keep the dog.

"With all these circumstances that came together, how do you not keep this dog," he said.

Suzy, who is roughly 9 years old, has a long road to recovery.

Jokinen says she walks on three legs due to a paw infection, she has an infection in her teeth, extremely underweight and a flea and tick infestation. She was also not chipped, veterinarians said.

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"The goal is to get Suzy healthy," says Jokinen, who has received over $8,000 is donations after posting about it on social media. Any leftover money, after Suzy gets the help she needs, will go towards a good cause to help other animals, says Jokinen.

Jokinen and Griendling will be reuniting soon to meet face-to-face for the first time.

For Jokinen, he just wants to say thanks.

"My family could have been murdered if it wasn't for this guy," he says.
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