'She was a huge part of our family:' Girl finds new companion after dog dies in fire

Nona Dodd, 9,  has found a new companion that’s helped her cope since a house fire that killed her dog. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. - A 9-year-old girl found a new companion that’s helped her cope since a house fire that killed her dog.

Nona Dodd and her mother, Kami, lost their home near Sedro-Woolley in a large fire on December 3.

The blaze started just after 9 a.m. while the mother and daughter were out. It was likely electrical, according to Whatcom County Fire District 18’s chief.

The Dodd’s 6-year-old Bulldog Maude died in the fire.

“She was a huge part of our family,” Kami Dodd said. “She and Nona had a special bond. They were inseparable.”

Maude was found at the door to Nona’s bedroom.

“I loved her,” Nona said.

Both Nona and Kami were devastated by the loss.

They moved in with Kami’s sister, where Nona continued to struggle. Then she found a new friend.

Since the move, Nona has become best friends with her aunt’s rescue dog, Stella. The 4-year-old pit bull mix now sleeps in Nona’s bed and brings her comfort.

“It means a lot to me because she makes me feel happy and she’s really nice,” Nona said.

“I think Stella senses she is upset, and she has been really close with her,” Kami added. “I don’t think [Nona] feels so alone.”

Both Stella and Maude were initially part of a dog rescue, Rescued Hearts Northwest, which was co-founded by Nona’s grandmother.

But as a rescue dog, Stella flipped the script and welcomed home a human in need.

A GoFundMe account has raised more than $10,000 for the Dodds, who say they have been blown away by the community’s support.

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