The benefits of owning a dog are well-documented: sharing your home with a canine companion can make you happier and even increase your lifespan. If you long for a dog but you can’t have one — for whatever reason — you might be inspired by a group of men in Bristol, England in the U.K., who decided they’d go for the next best thing.
Engineer Jack McCrossan, 23, and his three housemates aren’t allowed to have a pet in their rental property. But they noticed their neighbors had one, so they wrote a letter to them and signed it “The boys from 23.”
“The other day, we noticed a four-legged friend looking at us out the window when we arrived home from work,” the letter read. “He or She looked like the good-est boy/girl there is. If you ever need someone to walk him/her, we will gladly do so.”
The letter went on to to request a visit with the dog or even just a strategic walk past the men’s balcony windows to brighten their dog-deprived spirits. It said that the four had all grown up with animals and added, “The adult life is a struggle without one.”
What they weren’t expecting was a response from the dog, Stevie Ticks. Yes, she actually wrote back. McCrossan shared the response on Twitter, and people are loving it. The tweet has been shared 113,300 times and has more than 506,000 likes!
Been saying we’d love a dog about the house but our landlord doesn’t allow pets, so my housemate posted a letter to our neighbours asking if we could walk their dog every once and a while and the response was better than we could have ever hoped for pic.twitter.com/dcMOfPk5UH
— Jack McCrossan (@Jack_McCrossan) December 10, 2019
As it turns out, Stevie’s owners, Chris Bowley and Sarah Tolman, were totally up for a meeting between their dog and the new neighbors.
“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.”
So they sent McCrossan and his roomies a reply that exceeded their expectations.
“I am very friendly and full of beans,” Stevie, a 2-year-old Labrador/German shepherd mix, “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 also assured her new potential friends that she was indeed the “bestest girl” and sealed the envelope with her paw print. The dog invited them to connect with her owner on WhatsApp.
“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.”
On Dec. 15, McCrossan shared an update on Twitter, revealing that the boys had met Stevie, and they all look as if they’re getting along just fine.
Update: The boys from 23 just met Stevie, looks like the start of a beautiful friendship (Give Stevie a follow on Instagram: stevieticks) #stevieticks pic.twitter.com/HkhDzzQcSG
— Jack McCrossan (@Jack_McCrossan) December 15, 2019
He also encouraged his Twitter followers to give Stevie some love on Instagram, and we can confirm that she’s worth a follow, whether she’s rocking a high-visibility vest…..
…or getting into the festive spirit in a Santa suit.
What a sweet story of a dog connecting strangers! No doubt Stevie’s new BFFs will make sure she’s suitably spoiled on Christmas Day this year.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.