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"Humans of New York" creator Brandon Stanton has a reputation for inspiring others to be compassionate and accepting — a reputation his beloved dog, Susie, who recently passed away, enjoyed too.
In a touching message posted to the HONY Facebook page on Saturday, Stanton honored the life of the 16-year-old pooch and shared her sweet story.
"She came into my life quite unexpectedly five years ago," Stanton said in the post. "I was photographing in Brooklyn one evening when I saw the coolest little dog sitting on a stoop."
Susie's former owner, who could no longer care for the older dog, approached and asked if Stanton would take her.
"I was broke at the time. I was sleeping on a friend’s couch. And everyone that I asked told me that it was ‘not the right time’ for a dog," Stanton said.
"But I was so charmed by Susie, and the whole encounter seemed so fated, that I offered to take her."
Adopting Susie turned out to be "one of the best decisions" Stanton ever made.
In the post, he described her "unconditional love" and shared how she helped inspire others to take in elderly pets.
Because of Susie, his fiancée, Erin O'Sullivan, founded a nonprofit called Susie's Senior Dogs, which seeks to find loving homes for elderly pooches.
"Older dogs have the hardest time getting adopted," Stanton explained. "Because there is such a demand for young dogs, so many senior dogs are either euthanized or forced to spend the remainder of their lives in a shelter."
Susie's Senior Dogs, which has managed to find homes for hundreds of dogs since its launch, posted a separate tribute to Susie on their Facebook page.
"Thank you to everyone who has been inspired by Susie to adopt an old dog of your own," the group wrote.
"She is the first of adopted senior dogs in our own personal lives and we would adopt her again 100 times over. Susie was a gift and she has certainly spurred a movement bigger than she'll ever know."