A couple were shocked to wake up with a stranger’s dog lying in bed next to them who snuck under the covers in the middle of the night.
Jimmy and Julie Johnson are usually joined by one of their three own dogs at bedtime, so weren’t awoken when the pooch snuggled in on May 1.
The dog, named Nala, belonged to a neighbour and is thought to have snuck through the house door to seek shelter from a thunderstorm.
Jimmy, 34, said: “My first reaction was fear – Nala is a big dog, a Pitbull-Labrador mix.
“When I tried to pull my covers from underneath her she got a little huffy and puffy, and was pressing her snout into me.
“I quickly realized she was just being friendly and snuggly.
“I woke Julie up to ask her whose dog was in the bed, to which she responded I’ have no clue.'”
Nala had managed to creep past the Johnsons three dogs, Zeppelin, Hollis and Jupiter, who were sound asleep in their home in Polk County, Tennessee, USA, between 3am and 6am.
Jimmy said: “They are well socialized and loving animals and had no issues with her joining all of us in the bed.
“My wife was the first one out of bed and tried to get her up, but she was having none of that and we could tell she didn’t want to get up.
“I continued to cuddle and sleep with her for an additional three or four hours.”
The next morning, white water rafting guide Julie, 42, posted on social media asking around to see who the dog belonged to, which was fortunately spotted by Cris Hawkins and Felecia Johnson.
The couple live 90 minutes away from Polk County, but Nala had been staying with their parents just over two miles from Jimmy and Julie when she slipped her collar.
Jimmy said: “Nala’s mum came to get her around 11am that morning and was definitely shocked that she had not only travelled so far, but entered a stranger’s house and made herself at home in the bed.
“Even at her mother’s request, Nala made it clear she was comfortable in our bed.
“Her five-foot mother had to literally pick her up and carry her out of the home!”
Cris said on Facebook: “Our overly friendly pup, Nala, has hit an all time record for ignoring personal space and added yet another trick to her long list of Houdini acts.
“She slipped her collar, ran down the street to a neighbour’s house, somehow managed to get in their house, and climbed in to bed with them in the middle of the night.
“The woman and her husband have three dogs of their own that all sleep in bed with them.
“None of their dogs reacted to a random dog climbing into bed with them and the couple didn’t even realise that it wasn’t their dog in bed with them until the sun started to come up.
“Shame on Nala for somehow breaking into a stranger’s house and invading their personal space.
“Thankfully, the couple thought it was hilarious and they aren’t even mad about it.
“Side note: They live quite a few houses down so I’m using the term ‘neighbour’ loosely.
“Thank you Julie for keeping her safe, treating Nala like your own, and making sure you got the word out for us to find her.”
River Manager at a rafting outpost Jimmy wants the story to remind people “if you have an open heart and an open mind, there’s always room for another pet in your life.”
“And always double check that your doors are closed and locked before bed!”