A couple who lives in Benton, Tennessee, started wide awake when they realized that they had a dog in their bed in the middle of the night. It wasn't their dog either.
As a storm was going on outside, the unknown dog had snuggled in their bed and was all cozy and warm.
The man and woman stood still for 15 seconds, and then they took their chances and lifted the covers.
What are the details?
Julie and Jimmy Johnson work as whitewater-rafting guides in Southeast Tennessee, so they know what adventure is all about. However, when an unknown dog showed up in their bad late at night, they didn't know what to make of it.
Nala, a pit bull-Labrador mix, snuggled close to them, but the couple wondered if she was friendly and how they should react.
"I think when my husband let our dogs out that night before we went to bed, we didn't shut the door nor latch it completely. A storm rolled in at 4 a.m., and we woke up to Nala in the bed with us," Julie, 42, shared with The Epoch Times.
At the time, Julie was facing the wall, and her husband asked her whose dog was lounging in their bed. The woman then rolled over and looked at her husband, and they were both equally confused.
"It is normal to wake up in our own house and find one of our dogs in bed with us. But this is not our dog. And we don't know how she got into our house. We initially thought it was one of ours, but they rarely like the pillows! In pitch darkness, I just thought it was. Wouldn't we all? As daylight crept in through our curtains, we realized we were snuggling with someone else's dog," the woman wrote in an online post.
They were cautious since they had no idea how Nala would react, so they waited in complete silence for 10 to 15 seconds.
"My husband asked who's in bed with us. Moments later, he pulled the blankets up, and Nala just snuggled in tighter. She was so peaceful, warm, and cozy and had no desire to move!" Julie recalls.
They assumed Nala had been away from her home and that she was worried about the storm and went inside their house to find protection.
Once the initial surprise of discovering the dog in their bed wore off, Julie felt better after noticing she looked very well.
"She was clean, well-mannered, did not have fleas or ticks, was not skinny, and was not hungry," she said.
So, the woman headed over to social media to post photos of the dog and help her owners be reunited with their furbaby.
"She was someone's baby. So, I took quick pictures of us in bed with Nala and posted them to my page, sharing them in 'lost and found' groups," Julie said.
It only took two hours to get a message about a dog. Felecia Johnson, the woman who called Julie, sent her lots of family photos with Nala as proof of ownership, and she soon set off to pick up the dog.
In the meantime, Jimmy decided to stay in bed and keep Nala company so she wouldn't get nervous.
And when her mom got there, Nala was so comfortable that they had a hard time convincing her it was time to go.
"This woman had to come to the house, into my bedroom where my husband was still in bed. Nala was very excited to see her mom, but she didn't want to get up. Her mom is tiny, and Nala might weigh more than her, but her mom picked her up, then held her like a baby, and carried her out. It was precious!" Julie said.
The woman got many positive reactions from the people who saw her post, and she feels that what took place was a welcome change from all the negativity.
"So much of what's going on is sad, and I think people are looking for something positive."
Cris Hawkins, Nala's dad, also posted a gratitude message on social media.
"Our overly friendly dog, Nala, has hit a record for ignoring personal space … thankfully, the couple thought it was hilarious," he wrote.
Nala's little escapade didn't stop at smiles and a bit of fun. The encounter was the beginning of a lasting friendship between Julie, Jimmy, and their three dogs, Cris, Felecia, and Nala.
Just one week after the unusual episode, they all got together at Nala's house.
"I believe we've started a friendship, and we get along great. At the playdate, all puppies loved each other; they played in the yard with toys and sticks, and we just had a wonderful afternoon as they rolled around on the grass," Julie said.
Looking back on what happened, Julie feels happy they were there for Nala as she wouldn't want any dog to be on their own during a storm.
"You never know what someone needs, and if you don't open yourself up to the possibility of helping somebody, then you're not going to be able to give support. I wouldn't wish to be stuck outside in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm; I'm thankful that Nala ended up in our home," she concluded about the unique circumstances that brought them all together.