A couple woke up to find a dog snuggled in bed with them and it was not theirs

Julie Thornton Johnson, a couple from southeast Tennessee, woke up to find a fluffy guest in their bed in the early hours of May 1.

Julie got up around 4:00 a.m. and noticed a dog was in their bed, but she didn’t think anything of it because their three hounds—Jupiter, Hollis, and Zeppelin—like sleeping on the bed. She went back to sleep.


Jimmy woke up to see the light through their window at 6:30 a.m.

“Julie, whose dog is this?” he asked in a quiet but stern voice.

Julie rolled over and looked at her husband—both of them having just realized that the red nose pitbull-labrador mix sandwiched between them wasn’t theirs.

Julie Johnson and Nala on the bed

Julie initially feared someone else would break into the house. But she soon realized the pup was simply seeking refuge.

“We knew that she was of absolute no harm to us or our dogs,” she said. “She was just looking for a safe place. So, it totally turned into a comical, ‘Let’s take some photos with Nala.’”

Julie shared the story via Facebook, after the couple took a few photos of their hilarious situation.

“This is the weirdest post I have ever had to make,” she wrote in the caption. “Is this your dog?”

Nala the dog on the Johnsons' bed

The pup wasn’t wearing a collar, so the Johnsons didn’t know her name. Julie received a message within an hour of posting the message from someone claiming Nala was their dog.

Julie wanted to be certain that it was the right owner so she asked if she could prove it. The woman sent Nala Christmas and Easter photos, as well as many photos of her with Nala.

Nala’s owners, Felecia Johnson and Cris Hawkins, said that the dog had slipped out of her collar the night before while Felecia’s dad took her for a walk.

Nala ran in the woods. He tried to get her but the dog decided to play tag. The pup returned home that night but refused the invitation to come inside. Felecia, Cris and I decided to wait until morning so she would be close.

Felecia Johnson and Nala

As it turned out, Nala embarked on an adventure of her very own.

How she snuck into the couple’s home still remains unclear, but Julie suspects that Nala might have just pushed a door open while looking for a place to stay during the thunderstorm that night. Jimmy had taken their dogs outside before going to bed. She thinks that the front door was slightly unlocked.

Felecia came to Nala’s rescue, but it was quite a while before the dog was finally allowed to go home.

Jimmy Johnson, Julie Johnson, Felecia Johnson, and Cris Hawkins with their dogs

“She’s almost as big as I am, but since she’s been a puppy, I carry her on my hip like she’s a little kid,” she said. “And now that she’s grown, she’s still expects me to do that. It’s a lot harder now, but I had to carry this big dog out of (Julie and Jimmy’s) house. If it wasn’t crazy enough. … I had to carry her out like a child.”

A few days after Nala’s impromptu sleepover, the families went on a fun puppy play date in Julie and Jimmy’s yard with all four dogs, who enjoyed some vanilla ice cream and treats.

“The four of us could not even believe the attention this story has gotten and how one dog has brought the four of us together,” Julie said. “The eight of us, actually — four humans and four dogs — into, I hope, a friendship.”

You can find more details about this story in the video below by CBS News.

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