Their daughter had never had trouble sleeping alone. But lately, they couldn’t leave her alone in any room, even in the daytime.
Everything changed when they adopted the dog. They were glad at first, seeing that their daughter could finally sleep soundly. If only they knew the truth.
Dex Pritchett was your average dad living in Kansas with his wife Lindsey and one-year-old daughter Mikaela. Dex was a lecturer in the local college while his wife ran a bakery in town.
As far as he was concerned, his life was more than perfect. Everything would change when little Mikaela turned five.
The Pritchet family lived in a lovely neighborhood in Kansas City. Their home was a large beautiful house, with more than enough room for the small family.
Looking to fill the space with more family members, Dex and Lindsey agreed to have a pet as they discussed the possibility of having a second child. But trouble would begin well before they found a pup to join their family.
The issues started when Mikaela would complain that she was afraid to sleep alone in her room. She would wake up deep in the night to find herself alone, which Dex knew was harrowing for any child.
Dex and Lindsey understood why their kid was afraid, thinking she only feared the dark. But soon enough, Mikaela would start crying whenever she was alone… even during the day.
Lindsey had been proud of the fact that Mikaela had begun to sleep in her own room three years ago. Although she had to stay with her until she fell asleep in the beginning, the transition to sleeping on her own had seemingly gone without a hitch.
Now, she didn’t know what to do. Every time Mikaela woke up frightened, she ran to her parents room. And the problem was just getting worse.
Dex and Lindsey were beside themselves with worry as Mikaela’s phobia of being alone grew. They couldn’t set her aside even for brief seconds without remaining in the same room.
It wasn’t long before they decided enough was enough and made the decision to take Mikaela to a pediatrician. Unknown to them, they’d never reach the children’s hospital that day.
Dex and Lindsey were driving their daughter to the pediatrician when they got stuck in the late morning Kansas City traffic. Bored in the car, Dex threw on some country music to warm the atmosphere while he and Lindsey talked about their interests.
But while they were lost in their conversation, something was happening to Mikaela in the backseat that would change their lives forever.
Unknown to Dex and Lindsey, Mikaela had found a way to pull herself to the car window. Thankfully, she didn’t roll the window down, only jumped up and down with her gaze stuck outside the car.
Dex and Lindsey were deep in conversation when they heard the little angel shout, “Mommy, doggy, doggy!” They both turned to her, shocked to find her close to the window. They followed Mikaela’s eyes, their mouths falling open at what they saw outside their car.
Right next to their car was a pet shelter. Several puppies and kittens were inside, and Mikaela wanted to pet them. Dex was still debating whether to go to the hospital or take his family into the shop since he and Lindsey had already talked about rescuing a dog when his phone rang.
He quickly picked up the call, finding it was their doctor informing them they’d have to reschedule their appointment. Taking it as a sign from above, Dex pulled his car to a parking spot, and they all got into the pet store.
The dog that chose the Pritchett family was a handsome two-year-old pitbull named Silva. Although Lindsey had reservations, he was the perfect dog as far as Dex was concerned.
Silva seemed to love his new home. As soon as he left the shelter, the dog became comfortable as a new member of the family. But he had a habit that stunned and scared his new owners, and he only showed this flaw at night.
Dex and Lindsey stopped at a pet store on the way home for supplies for their new dog. They got him the best food, a bed, food bowls, and a few toys.
That night, they they prepared a little welcome feast for Silva. They all cuddled up for a movie afterward, and then the craziest thing happened.
Mikaela, who rarely slept with the TV on, was sound asleep on the couch. At the floor by her feet was Silva, also fast asleep. Dex and Lindsey tried not to wake the little girl up and successfully transferred Mikaela to her room.
They expected Silva to wake up as soon as they tried to carry Mikaela, which he did, but they didn’t expect what he did next.
Dex and Lindsey set up the brand-new bed and water bowl for Silva in the kitchen and left him there to sleep. He inspected the new bed and turned around a few times before settling in. They closed the door.
They returned to the lounge to continue watching TV for a few hours before going to bed themselves. It was only when Lindsey got up for a glass of water from the kitchen that she noticed Silva wasn’t in his bed.
Lindsey was perplexed – they had closed the kitchen door, she was sure of it. Although Dex had suggested that Silva stay in Mikaela’s room, she hadn’t been comfortable with an unknown dog roaming around the house at night.
How did Silva get out? And where was he? Panicking now, Lindsey began to search the house room by room.
After going through the lounge, dining room and hallway, she still couldn’t find Silva. It was only when she checked Mikaela’s room for the second time that he startled her. He was hiding underneath her little girl’s bed.
Although her husband had grown up with pitbulls, Lindsey felt uneasy. She shooed Silva out from under the bed and locked him back in the kitchen. But Silva’s strange habit was just beginning.
Even though Lindsey locked Silva in the kitchen every night, he kept escaping. Lindsey would panic each time she woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t find him.
And every time, she found him under Mikaela’s bed. This continued for weeks. Lindsey told her husband but he, frustratingly, didn’t seem concerned at all.
Although Dex and Lindsey let Silva into Mikaela’s bedroom during the day, Lindsey continued to shut him out at night.
Having had dogs before, Lindsey knew that it was important to teach their dog obedience by not letting him have free reign of the house at night. What had happened in his previous home that made him refuse to sleep in his bed?
Lindsey had made a habit of getting up every night to take Silva back to the kitchen, but this couldn’t go on forever. She had tried to train him to stay in his bed during the night, but he was insistent.
The only other option she had was to keep him outside from now on – but she couldn’t bring herself to do that. Then, after a particularly exhausting day, she accidently slept through the night.
After all the sleepless nights that Mikaela had in the last few months, the Pritchetts usually kept close to her room to rush in when she woke up.
But that night, Mikaela didn’t wake her parents up. She only showed up early in the morning, well-rested and with a wide grin plastered on her face. Lindsey was relieved to see that Silva was in his bed. What was happening?
Dex and Lindsey didn’t know what to make of this development. Mikaela was barely an early riser and most definitely not a smiling one, but today everything was different. Dex looked to uncover the mystery and installed two cameras – one in Mikaela’s room, and one in the kitchen.
Dex intentionally sent Mikaela to bed with the cameras in place. What they saw on the footage that evening would leave the couple speechless.
Dex and Lindsey rushed to the computer to uncover the secret behind their daughter and dog’s behavior. In real-time on the monitor, Silva seemed to sleep soundly in his bed in the kitchen where they had left him.
Lindsey noted that the door to the kitchen was closed, and they watched as Mikaela fall asleep relatively quickly. But she didn’t stay asleep for long.
Mikaela began to toss and turn, then she bolted upright. She pulled her blanket up to her chin and stared into the darkness with wide eyes.
Lindsey’s immediate motherly instinct was to go and comfort her daughter, but she fought the urge, She wanted to see what would happen. After a few minutes, the little girl did something completely surprising.
Mikaela carefully slid out of the covers and got on her knees to look underneath the bed. She was doing something Lindsey always did for her to reassure her before she tucked her in at night – she was checking for monsters under the bed.
After checking, Mikaela toddled to the open door. Lindsey thought she was coming to their room like she usually did, but she walked down the hallway instead.
With her parents watching her on the camera, Mikaela toddled into the kitchen and quietly opened the door. Silva’s head rose immediately, as if he had been waiting for the little girl.
When they realized what was happening, Dex let out a little chuckle and Lindsey began to smile. They watched as Mikaela lead Silva back to her room.
Silva followed Mikaela to her room and climbed onto her bed, carefully laying next to the girl. Mikaela cuddled into the dog in the cutest way possible and fell asleep within minutes.
Although buying the cameras had been expensive for Dex, he was glad he’d done it to witness such a beautiful thing. He was about to turn off his computer when something else happened.
Mikaela woke up with a start, and so did Silva. Mikaela looked around her room with drowsy eyes, her brows furrowing as she realized her parents were nowhere to be seen.
Her lips began trembling as her eyes grew wide, but Silva whined at her and licked her face, pawing her lovingly until she lay back down. The dog licked her again and lay next to her. Dex and Lindsey watched with their mouths open as everything unfolded.
Mikaela smiled, petting Silva until her eyes became heavy and she slept. Dex and Lindsey couldn’t believe it.
And, in the morning, they found Silva sleeping in his own bed. He was trying to be obedient, so he must have learned to sneak back into the kitchen early in the morning.
When they finally took Mikaela to her pediatrician, the Pritchetts learned that their daughter had a case of monophobia, the fear of being alone, which Silva was helping her get over.
Although Mikaela would soon outgrow this fear, her bond with Silva would only grow stronger. Lindsey was worried about the sleeping arrangement in the beginning, but she soon learned that sleeping with a four-legged friend has many benefits.
There have been numerous studies on how pets can relieve their owners’ stress and anxiety. When Mikaela felt the presence of Silva next to her, her cortisol levels, heart rate, and blood pressure decreased.
Having a dog sleep with her daughter seemed like the perfect solution to her monophobia – but was Lindsey ready to trust a pitbull completely just yet?
Pit bulls are seen as the most dangerous breed because of their wide jaws and powerful bodies, but these dogs can also be lovable, caring, and loyal – it all depends on the way they were trained and raised.
And yes, while any unsocialized dog can be dangerous, Lindsey would slowly grow to trust Silva with her daughter’s safety. But that journey would take time.
For Lindsey, adopting such a massive dog had never been in the cards. She couldn’t understand how comfortable her husband and daughter were with Silva while she was so apprehensive around him.
Although the dog was helping Mikaela with her monophobia, Lindsey always watched him with keen interest. One day, she’d witness something that would change her perception of Silva.
As a person who had lived with dogs before, Lindsey understood the many complexities of the position.
One of them was ensuring that the dog relieved himself in the backyard in the morning and evening. Lindsey had expected a burly dog such as Silva to be wild and untamed in such matters. But what she got left her without words.
Silva never fused or caused a stir when it was time to relieve himself. If anything, he made the Pritchetts’ job easy.
He would dash out when it was time, do his business, wait for either Lindsey or Dex to come and clean up after him, and then follow them back to the house. But all this changed when the rainy season came.
Lindsey noticed something was off one rainy evening when she opened the backdoor for Silva. As he always did when she came to let him out, he jumped to his feet and hurried after her.
But instead of going out, he only stared at the pouring rain outside and gave a huff before turning back to his bed and curling into a ball.
Lindsey couldn’t understand what was happening. Silva was rarely the brooding type. Thinking that he didn’t want to relieve himself, she shut the door, washed her hands, and started on dinner.
But a few minutes in, he ran to her feet, whining to get her attention. “What is it, boy?” she asked concernedly. Was Silva alright?
The rain had reduced by now, so Lindsey quickly escorted him outside, hoping Silva only needed to go for a short call. But as before, he stared into the darkness covered by the reducing rain and huffed again.
Something was slowly becoming apparent to Lindsey. It seemed Silva didn’t like the rain. Dogs hating the rain wasn’t that uncommon. So, with a smile, the mom did the only thing she could think of at the time.
She grabbed her umbrella and stepped into the gloomy evening. Silva immediately hurried after her, ensuring he was closed enough to shelter from the downpour.
He did his business, happily wagging his tail as Lindsey led him back into the house. She grinned, finally having her first ‘bonding’ moment with the pit bull. She had no idea what she’d just started.
Since the rainy season had just started, Silva made a habit of being led outside each time he had to relieve himself. Sometimes he’d stare at the rain until it subsided before going out, while other times, he’d not go out at all.
Lindsey was concerned about this development. Silva could harm his bladder, trying to hold it in for too long.
Lindsey was slowly thawing toward Silva. He never made a mess inside the house and made her daughter feel safe. She could only accompany him with an umbrella as he went outside.
But it wasn’t long before this became tiring. Lindsey was still trying to figure out the best way forward when her daughter Mikaela stepped in to help.
Lindsey couldn’t deny that her daughter had the strongest bond with Silva. The two were near inseparable, so much so that Silva would wait for her at the driveway at 3 PM when she returned from school.
After she heard her mom discuss Silva’s rain phobia with her dad, Mikaela started doing a few things to help the pit bull deal with the situation.
The first thing the little angel did was sneak her favorite yellow raincoat and hat to the dog. She covered him fully and wore a different coat. Afterward, she urged him to step into the rain with her.
Lindsey was watching closely behind her daughter, amazed that at such a young age, Mikaela was doing all these things herself. But would Silva follow her daughter into the rainy night?
Lindsey watched with interest as Mikaela stepped onto the wet grass. She was surprised that her daughter no longer feared the dark, not when Silva was with her.
But her surprise bubbled over when the pit bull walked into the rain, too, following Mikaela. He hurried after her, still frightened by the lightning streaking across the skies above.
The dog finished his business and followed Mikaela back into the house. Lindsey, who had been watching closely, couldn’t believe what she’d just witnessed. It got more interesting when Mikaela suggested taking Silva out the next day.
The rest of the week was the same, with Mikaela gearing up for the gloomy evening and layering Silva in a raincoat, hat, and boots.
The two formed the most adorable relationship. Silva would help Mikaela with her monophobia. She was helping him get a handle on his fear of rainwater.
This side of Silva made Lindsey gravitate toward him even more. She’d not expected such a big, fierce dog to have fears. Seeing her daughter help him through it made the matter more endearing.
As the days counted by, the mom stopped viewing Silva as a dangerous dog but as her adorable baby. His relationship with Mikaela had done a lot to change her view of him.
Lindsey had also begun interacting with him a lot, bolstering their budding relationship. There was no mistaking that they were a wonderful family.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.