When Julie Johnson noticed a furry creature cuddled up in her bed with her and her hubby in the middle of the night, she didn’t give it too much thought. After all, they have three dogs.
But when the couple from Benton, Tennessee woke up the next morning, they found a completely unfamiliar face staring at them.
The intruder was “big, brown and hairy,” Johnson said, and most importantly, “definitely not my dog.”
“I turned around and looked [at my husband] and he looked at me, and we were like, is this going to hurt us? You know, what are we doing? Where did that come from?” Johnson said. As it happens guest host Robyn Bresnahan.
“Within seconds we realized we were fine and there was no harm. But it was a very strange few minutes to wake up.”
Not only was the dog non-threatening, but she had made herself at home.
“She snuggled up to my husband, climbed higher on the pillows, wanted to be covered,” Johnson said. “I mean, you would have thought we were in his bed instead of the complete opposite.”
Doggie prone to “Houdini acts”
The couple knew immediately that the dog had to belong to someone. She seemed friendly, well fed and cared for, with no signs of neglect.
So Johnson took to Facebook and wrote one of the most bizarre posts of her life: “It is absolutely normal to wake up in our house with one of OUR dogs in the bed with us. A small problem, THIS IS NOT OUR DOG, and we don’t know how he got into our house either. “
It only took about an hour before the dog’s owner got in touch. Johnson learned that his new bedmate is a Labrador-Bulldog mix named Nala, with a penchant for big escapes.
“Our overly friendly pup, Nala, has hit an all-time record for ignoring personal space and added another trick to her long list of Houdini acts,” its owner Cris Hawkins later posted on Facebook.
“Luckily the couple thought it was hilarious and they’re not even mad about it.”
So how did Nala get into Johnson’s house?
Her owners say she escaped from her collar the day before, possibly to chase a squirrel, and fled into the woods. They searched for her for a while, to no avail, but finally thought she would go home.
Then a storm hit later that night. Johnson suspects her husband didn’t lock the door properly when he let their three dogs out to pee, and Nala slipped away under cover of darkness to escape the bad weather.
What she didn’t understand was why her three puppies didn’t take a look at the intruder.
“I mean, if the wind is blowing the wrong way, they bark,” she said.
She didn’t want to go home
Nala’s landlord arrived later that morning and called her from the porch. Johnson says the dog’s tail started wagging “a thousand miles an hour.”
And yet, she did not move.
“Nala was glad my husband was in bed. His mother was standing on our porch yelling, ‘Nala, come here, girl! Mom’s here!” she said.
“And it actually required me to let a real stranger, the wife, into my house, into the bedroom where my husband was still snuggling up with his dog to get his dog out of our bed.”
Nala is now at home, where she belongs. But Johnson says she’s welcome for another slumber party anytime – as long as her dogs are okay with it.
Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview conducted by Kate McGillivray.