There are many different versions of this story. This is the version I've heard while growing up.
There was once a very old woman. She had no family or friends. The only thing that kept her company was a little white dog. The little white dog would follow her everywhere. One night, they were getting ready for bed doing their usual routine. The dog was lying down by the fireplace, watching the flames dance while the old woman was in bed.
She didn't let the dog onto her bed. When the old woman had nightmares, she would reach her hand down and let the dog lick her hand. Knowing that the dog was there put her mind to ease. Right before the old woman was drifting into sleep, a news reporter broke onto the radio. "Breaking news, a mental patient from a nearby penitentiary has escaped and is roaming around town. He is considered very dangerous. Please lock your doors and windows." The old woman was afraid now. She looked at the little white dog, lying by the fireplace, watching the flames dance. The dog brought her some comfort, and she tried to sleep. The mental patient wouldn't leave her mind.
For some reassurance, she reached her hand down and felt the dog's warm tongue lick her hand. With that, she once again attempted to sleep. Unfortunately, the thought of seeing the patient watching her from the shadows just wouldn't leave her mind. She once again reached her hand down, and once again felt the warmth of the dog's tongue lick her hand. But this time, she noticed the little white dog.
Laying down by the fireplace, watching the flames dance.