Philip and Margaret were living the American Dream. They lived in a big house with a picket fence, a cute dog, and a beautiful baby girl. Or so they thought.
Everything changed after their daughter Caroline was born. Their dog Butch never left her side. Then something totally unexpected happened.
A troublesome night
On a Sunday in September, what appeared to be an ordinary night did not turn out to be ordinary at all.
Philip and Maggie were fast asleep in their bed, until their dog Butch began barking wildly from the baby’s room, eventually waking up the whole neighborhood.
What started as a simple bark would turn into a story that would move the whole nation.
Who was Philip?
Philip Blake was a troublesome kid. He often got into fights at school, and he didn’t have good grades. Taking that into account, his parents decided to enroll him in military school so he could learn some discipline.
When Philip turned eighteen years old, he joined the army and began traveling the world, with a career focus on cyber security.
It didn’t take Philip long to realize that being in the military would make it hard for him to have any stable relationship, and he wondered if he would ever have a family of his own…
Who was Maggie?
Margaret Tanner, also known as Maggie, was adored by everyone she crossed paths with.
Maggie was raised in rural Oklahoma. A bright woman, everyone knew that Maggie was destined for bigger things.
Maggie loved pottery and dreamed of having her own business, yet in order for this to happen, she needed to move to the big city.
Getting closer to his dream
After a number of years in the military and accomplishing numerous milestones, Philip’s efforts were recognized and he was offered a job with the CIA.
The role was right up Philip’s alley: cyber security. He would work to identify and analyze any potential threats to the nation’s security.
Philip gladly accepted the position. For him, this was a strategic move. He would no longer have to travel on duty. He would finally have the time for a stable relationship.
How did Maggie and Philip meet?
One night at a bar in Dallas, Texas, Philip was having a drink with some coworkers. And then he saw Maggie.
Philip walked up to Maggie and introduced himself, and they hit it off instantly. Maggie had just moved to the city and was starting her own pottery studio.
After chatting the night away, Philip gave Maggie a ride home. From that night on, he knew Maggie was the one.
A fairytale love story
After a few months of dating, Philip proposed to Maggie. They got married a year and a day after they’d first met.
The pair got married at Philip’s family’s lakehouse outside of Dallas, and the day was unforgettable.
Many friends and family showed up to celebrate the happy couple. It was all smiles, except at the Blake table, where things weren’t all that bubbly.
A worried family
Due to their quick courtship, Philip’s parents had only met Maggie a handful of times before the wedding.
Since Philip’s parents didn’t know Maggie all that well, they were a bit skeptical about her.
The Blakes wondered why Philip would marry a small-town artist from middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma, when he had traveled the world and was quickly rising within his field. The Blakes worried Maggie would take advantage of Philip.
Better with time
Thankfully, tensions eased between the Blakes and their new daughter-in-law after the wedding.
The more Philip’s parents spent time with Maggie, the more they saw what Philip did: a kind and compassionate woman with an intense love for life.
The Balkes warmed so much to Maggie that they decided to gift the newlyweds something very special.
The newlyweds buy a home!
As a very special wedding gift, the Blakes gave Philip and Maggie some funds to help buy their first home.
After several home viewings, Philip and Maggie bought a ranch-style house in a small Dallas suburb.
However, the couple’s big purchase created a buzz in the neighborhood. Since Philip and Maggie were new in town, the locals didn’t know much about them.
A new family member
Later on, already twenty weeks pregnant, Maggie felt very lonely during her first weeks of pregnancy.
Philip was busy at work and wasn’t able to give her the attention she needed.
So, one night over dinner they decided to adopt a dog, thinking it would be Maggie’s company and protection. Yet, how were going to adopt one if there no dog pounds around?
The street dog
One day after finishing her pottery work Maggie decided to go for a walk. It was a difficult walk because the baby wouldn’t stop kicking her belly.
In pain, she was struggling but kept strong. She stopped for a moment and noticed there was an animal in the nearby dumpster. It looked like a dog from afar.
They looked at each other but remained distant. Scared of what the dog could do, she froze.
Scary looking dog
Rumors were going on about this abandoned dog that kept going from door to door begging for food. Some people said it was a scary-looking male pitbull, so Maggie wondered if that could be him.
Without fear, the pitbull decided to get closer. The dog was very skinny and it looked like it was desperate for food.
As the canine got closer to Maggie, she panicked and dashed away but she didn’t know that the dog was following her…
A new member
Weeks after encountering the pitbull, the dog became a frequent visitor, he would come to their porch and Maggie would feed him every day.
At night he would sleep on their porch. He looked like he needed a home.
After talking a lot about it, Philip and Maggie decided to take him to the vet and adopt him.
A new home for Butch
They decided to name the dog Butch. But as he slowly started becoming part of the family he began showing some abnormal behaviors.
They noticed that he wasn’t playing much with the toys. He was also always by Maggie’s side and would lay his head gently on her pregnant belly whenever she was resting.
They thought that maybe he just needed more time to get adjusted to his new family.
Rushing to the hospital
On the thirty-seventh week of pregnancy, Maggie’s water broke and she had to be rushed to the hospital.
Maggie screamed in pain while Butch wouldn’t stop barking.
That same day, Philip left work early and went to the hospital to see his newborn. Butch was left alone at the house for the first time.
A few weeks later, there were two new members to the family and they were inseparable.
Caroline was three weeks old and Butch was her loyal friend. He treated her as if she was his own.
No one quite understood that bond, but it was clear that they loved each other.
Philip thought it was quite odd for a stray dog to act that way since stray dogs can be wild.
He began to question if there was something wrong with Butch or perhaps with Caroline since she was born earlier than expected.
He couldn’t figure it out and didn’t know who to reach out to.
Maggie and Philip’s date night
Philip was noticing that Maggie did not have the same energy and demeanor as before.
But it was understandable since she had just been through pregnancy.
Maggie needed a break, so Philip decided to take her out in town for a nice dinner.
Jennifer, the babysitter
Maggie had already found a babysitter to take care of Caroline for that night.
The babysitter was recommended by their next-door neighbors. Her name was Jeniffer, and apparently, she was very good with kids.
However, that was the first time a stranger was entering their house and Maggie didn’t know how Butch would react.
The babysitter meets Butch
Jennifer was getting to know Caroline, but Butch wouldn’t leave Caroline’s side.
She noticed that and also realized that the dog hadn’t even touched his food. Every time Jennifer tried to get close to Caroline, Butch would growl at her, so she kept a distance.
She wondered if there was something wrong with Butch.
After a much-needed night out, Maggie and Philip decided to get a hotel for the night.
Philip called Jennifer and asked if she could stay for the night and she said yes.
However, little did she know what would unfold during that night. Butch was not happy with her presence.
A night to remember
As Jennifer was tucking Caroline in bed, Butch got out of control. Out of nowhere Butch almost attacked her.
Scared of the dog, the babysitter dashed out of Caroline’s room and locked herself in the guest room.
It was a strange behavior from Butch, but could he be sensing something?
In the middle of the night, strange noises were coming from the guest room.
Butch heard the noise and ran toward the room. He tried to open it but it was locked, so he began scratching and barking at the door. The strange noises persisted and so did the barking.
The commotion within that house went on for the whole night eventually waking up the neighbors.
Jennifer the babysitter
Jennifer was in her early 20s. She had a troubled past and had gone to jail a few times but had never stayed in jail for more than a day.
Her parents had left her when she was young so she was raised by her grandmother. Her main source of income came from her babysitting jobs but she also did some side gigs.
She never told anyone about her side gigs. Sometimes she would disappear during the day and only come back at night. What could she be hiding?
The talk of the town
During the noisy night, the neighborhood grew wary of the new residents. Many rumors were spread.
Each person had a different theory about what had happened. The neighbors began thinking that there was something strange happening there.
At the center of it all was the babysitter who had kept it to herself for the most part. She never told Philip or Maggie about that night.
Back to their house
The next day, Maggie and Philip arrived from their getaway and met the babysitter for the first time in person.
Oblivious to what had happened while they were gone, Jennifer introduced herself and they felt like their newborn was in good hands. She was in her early 20s and showed she cared a lot about little Caroline.
However, Butch was being extra protective over the baby and Philip was the only one who noticed.
A couple’s trip
Months later, since they hadn’t traveled for their honeymoon, Philip decided it was a good time to do that and booked a trip to Hawaii. Maggie loved it.
They were going to be gone for five days, and they needed a break so they called Jennifer.
Jennifer said yes and everyone was happy. But it was going to be the longest time they would be away from their baby and Butch so they wondered what could happen…
Before the trip, Philip wanted to see if any abnormalities would occur in their home while they were gone.
So, he decided to take matters into his hands.
Without asking Maggie, he went on to do something that she could not believe. She was in shock.
Philip realized the attitudes and behaviors of the neighbors towards him and Maggie had changed and he didn’t know why.
He couldn’t stop but wonder what happened while they were gone. He had mentioned the situation to his co-worker, who recommended Philip install cameras outside and inside his house.
Maggie disapproved of it but it was too late, he had already installed it.
With everything in order, they were ready to leave for Hawaii.
On their way to the airport, Philip told Maggie about how the neighbor’s attitude towards them was getting weird but she hadn’t noticed it.
He tried to not make a big deal out of it but deep inside he knew something was going on.
Jeniffer was more aware of Butch’s behavior so she kept a respectful distance.
But that proved to be difficult since she needed to take care of Caroline and Butch was always next to the baby.
Tired of feeling threatened by the dog, Jennifer came up with a solution that caused Butch to go bunkers.
Locked the dog!
With food and water, Jennifer locked the dog inside the laundry room and thought that this way he wouldn’t bother.
More relaxed, she put the baby to sleep, went to her room, and locked her door. As she locked her door the loud she resumed doing what she was doing the night before.
Loud noises were coming out of her room, it sounded like she was drilling something.
The neighbors got involved
Extremely hyperactive, Butch’s barks became increasingly louder and he grew more desperate by the minute trying to open the laundry door at all costs.
Meanwhile, Caroline was sleeping through it all but the neighbors don’t on the other side of the streets heard it all.
Wide awake and bothered by it, they decided to act upon this disturbance.
Suddenly, the loud noise of the police sirens wailed in the distance and it overshadowed everything else that was going on inside that house.
Instantly, as Jennifer heard the sirens, the drilling sound stopped. She suspected someone had called the cops on her.
She let Butch out of the laundry room and he immediately ran to the baby’s room to check on Caroline…
Cops at the door
Minutes later, Jennifer heard a loud knock on the door and promptly answered it. It was the cops.
She made sure to act as innocent as possible, strategically attempting to fool the cops and they bought it.
They asked her a few questions and told her why they were there. She never flinched so they quickly left.
Meanwhile, in sunny Hawaii. Philip and Maggie were enjoying their last day on the island.
They would call home every once in a while but they were naive to what was going on. Jennifer purposely kept them ignorant regarding what was going on.
She told them about Butch’s overprotective behavior, they felt bad about it and decided to do something about it when they got back home.
Taking Butch to the vet
A few days after being back from their trip, Maggie took Butch to see the vet.
The vet took a close look at him and said everything was good with his health but it wasn’t his health that Maggie was worried about.
She asked the vet a few questions regarding Butch’s behavior and the vet’s recommendations caught her off guard.
The vet’s prescription
Maggie was relieved to know that Butch’s health was good despite being abandoned on the streets for a while.
However, the vet had prescribed Butch some tranquilizing pills which could cause serious side effects.
Afraid of the consequences, she decided not to buy them. Instead, she thought that Butch just needed to get used to his new life.
Jim’s got news
Crossing paths with his next-door neighbor right outside his house, Philip started talking to him.
They conversed and the neighbor told him about the strange noises that were heard from their house.
In disbelief, Philip knew exactly what to do.
The veterinarian had told Maggie that the cause of Butch’s protective behaviors could be due to past traumas etc.
The vet also said he could be anxious, so he subscribed Butch an anti-anxiety medication.
Maggie ended up buying the medication but would that solve the problem?
Back at home, skeptical of the babysitter, Philip began checking out the surveillance footage from the cameras he had recently installed.
Patiently looking over every single frame, he realized something very odd.
Philip was mesmerized by his discovery and couldn’t wait to tell Maggie about it.
Going over the footage from the cameras he had installed. Philip saw some unusual activities going on while they were gone.
The footage consisted of Jennifer going outside to her car, grabbing a bag, and bringing it inside. The bag looked very happy as she was struggling to bring the bag inside the house.
Philip wondered what could be inside of it. Maggie didn’t think much of it and thought it was nothing to worry about. So they brushed it off.
Turn off the cameras
Thinking through the guest’s perspective, Maggie thought the cameras inside their house were an invasion of privacy.
She thought it was not necessary. Therefore, she asked her husband to uninstall the indoor cameras. Philip was reluctant to do it but ended up doing it anyways.
His suspicions towards the babysitter grew by the minute and he didn’t feel safe leaving his child alone with her. Why was he so suspicious of her?
Maggie gets sick
It had been a couple of stressful weeks for Maggie in her pottery studio. She was gaining many clients while also taking care of Caroline and Butch.
That took a toll on her so she eventually got sick. There was a lot on her plate and Philip couldn’t help her because he was busy at work.
With no one to help, how was Maggie going to get out of that situation?
A helping hand?
Since Maggie was ill, she needed someone to help her with her daily chores while also taking care of the baby and Butch.
She thought of asking her mom but they didn’t get along. So the only option for her was to call Jennifer, the babysitter.
She called Jennifer but she was hesitant at first. After all, Butch was certainly her nemesis. Would Jennifer accept it?
Jennifer says yes
After receiving Maggie’s call. Jennifer said she needed a few hours to decide if she was going to be back at the Blake’s residence.
She was still shocked by Butch’s behavior last time and feared it would happen again. Hoping Butch was going to behave better, she ended up accepting it.
Maggie has asked her to stay there a few days while she was recovering, so Jennifer packed her things and headed off to the Blake’s residence.
A scared babysitter
Happy to have Jennifer in her corner, Maggie was slowly recovering. Butch was still being protective over the baby but he wasn’t as aggressive as before.
However, one night as Maggie was resting and Jennifer was putting the infant to sleep, Butch began growling at her.
She got scared and quickly left the room and Butch began following her. What was Butch going to do?
Butch attacks Jennifer
Back to her room, Jennifer sighed in relief. The dog was no longer there so began unpacking her things.
Hours later, as she was about to sleep she heard a noise coming from the baby’s room so she went there to check it out.
She noticed that the newborn was sleeping and concluded she was probably just dreaming. As she was leaving the room, Butch began growling again and attacked her.
The next morning
It was a rough night for Jennifer. After being attacked by Butch, her hand was bleeding so she went to her to take care of it.
She wrapped it up, took some pain pills, and went to sleep. The next morning, Maggie and Philip noticed her hand was wrapped and asked her what had happened.
She explained the situation to them and they got very concerned with Butch’s aggressive behavior. He had never attacked anyone before.
Who’s to blame?
Butch’s incident with the babysitter was very serious. Although Jennifer’s injury wasn’t that bad. The three of them talked it over and Maggie came up with an idea.
She demanded that the dog stayed in his crate as a punishment so he could learn and avoid doing the same thing.
Philip was hesitant to agree. He was skeptical about Butch’s behavior but thought that maybe, the dog had done that for a reason. What reason would that be?
Jennifer mentioned she didn’t need to go to the hospital. She showed them the wound and luckily it wasn’t severe.
Philip had not yet agreed with Maggie to put Butch in the crate and that made Maggie very angry. For her, it was logical.
Philip thought that it would be best to take the dog to the vet again and that’s what he did.
Taking Butch to the vet again
Without the dog in the house, Jennifer was more relaxed and could take care of Caroline without any interruptions.
At the vet, Philip hoped that nothing wrong was going on with Butch.
Minutes later, after the veterinarian completed Butch’s check-up, he broke the news to Philip and he was surprised by it.
Had Butch gone mad?
The veterinarian was already familiar with Butch since Philip had taken the dog there a couple of times. However, this time the diagnosis was different.
The vet had explained to Philip that Butch probably felt threatened during the moment, Butch panicked and reacted that way. Philip still couldn’t understand why.
On his way back to the house, he kept asking himself why was he feeling threatened by a babysitter. What could be going on?
Consequences of the confrontation
Maggie was very aggravated since Philip did not want to put Butch in his crate. She wondered why Philip was against the crate.
Hours later, Philip came back home, dropped Butch, and went to work. Maggie was still recovering therefore Jennifer had to stay there.
Tired of Philip’s decisions, Maggie decided to take matters into her own hands and put Butch in his crate. It was hard at first but she managed to do it.
Philip’s side project
Meanwhile, at the CIA office, Philip was still thinking as to why the neighbors were treating him and his wife differently.
He thought of all possible solutions and determined that something serious might’ve happened while they were gone during their honeymoon.
With some downtime at work, he decided to do some research of his own and found some noteworthy information.
The next-door neighbors
Philip realized he didn’t know much about his neighbors and also felt like they weren’t very receptive.
He began doing some research on them and noticed any unusual track record that included some time in jail but unfortunately, he couldn’t dig any deeper.
He needed permission from his superior since this wasn’t an open case so he had to put it on hold.
Philip’s work trip
An unforeseen situation at work showed up which meant that Philip had to travel to Washington DC and stay one day away from his family.
Maggie was already feeling better and with Jennifer’s help, she resumed her “normal” routine. Butch was still being crate trained therefore he would sleep in it at night.
Philip was very worried since Butch was caged, he knew Maggie and Caroline had no one else to count on in case something happened. With that, Philip went on to do something uncalled for.
Reactivating the cameras
For Philip, the only way to know that all was good back home was if he reactivated the cameras and that’s what he did.
He activated the cameras digitally and could see everything that was happening inside his house.
It was nighttime back home and at first glance, everything was normal until he noticed the babysitter coming in and out of her guest room.
Philip is alarmed
In Philip’s computer, the camera footage showed Caroline and Maggie sleeping in their rooms but in the living room, inside his crate, Butch was livid.
He was trying his best to break out of the crate but wasn’t able to do it. Jennifer continued coming and going out of her room.
He wondered what in the world was she doing and why didn’t she do anything about Butch’s situation.
Investigating the guest room
Back from his trip, with the babysitter already gone, Philip planned on finding out what happened in their house while he was gone.
He went into the guest room to see what was going on. He looked under the bed and noticed a couple of holes drilled in the floor.
He investigated it a little closer and could not believe what he had just uncovered. What he saw that day changed the course of his family’s life.