Jack McCrossan and his three housemates aren't allowed to have a pet in the home they recently began renting in Bristol, England, so they decided to write a letter to their new neighbors asking if they could walk or play with their dog sometime.
"We hope this doesn't come too strong, but our landlord won't allow pets, and we've all grown up with animals. The adult life is a struggle without one," read the letter to the neighbors. The housemates signed it "the boys."
But how's this for a twist? The dog, Stevie Ticks, wrote back.
"I love meeting new people and it would be great if we could be friends. I must warn you that the price of my friendship is five ball throws a day and belly scratches whenever I demand them," Stevie, a 2-year-old labrador and German shepherd mix who calls herself a "sheprador," "wrote."
Stevie even sealed the envelope the letter came in with her paw print.
McCrossan shared the letters on Twitter, where his tweet has been liked more than 500,000 times.
"We hadn’t properly met our neighbors beforehand so it was a complete gamble as to whether they would respond or not," McCrossan told TODAY. "Thankfully they were really good about it and the reply was far better than anything we were expecting, if anything at all."
Stevie's "servants," Chris Bowley and Sarah Tolman, said they empathized with their new neighbors and were more than happy to write back.
"We've always believed that the love dogs give should be shared by all," they told TODAY in an email. "It's incredibly difficult to have your own dog with renting so it makes sense for us to share the love out."
On Sunday, McCrossan and his housemates Iwan, James and Chris finally got the chance to meet their new four-legged friend.
"Sarah let us meet her and get the photos that people were waiting for," McCrossan said. "After this she let us hang about with Stevie on our own for a bit to give us a chance to get plenty of belly scratches in. We then took her out for a walk to a nearby park to play about and throw the ball for her."
Stevie was thrilled to met some new friends, her owners said. She's also become a local celebrity.
"Since she went viral she's now recognized out and about. She's taken her celebrity status in stride," they said. The adorable dog now has more than 42,000 followers on her @StevieTicks Instagram account.
McCrossan said he and his housemates plan to see Stevie again, and will make sure to give her plenty of treats and belly rubs.
"Of course dogs are always loved in these types of stories," he said, explaining why he thinks his tweet went viral. "But I think the response being so good from our neighbors that we had never met before has shown that a bit of mutual friendliness and humor between strangers can go a long way."