Since their beginning in September, the massive bushfires raging in Australia has left nothing but horror behind. The worst fire season so far has forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes and evacuate.
This was the case with the Zagami family from Wairewa. They realized it was pointless to stay and risk their lives in the attempt to defend their home as the bushfires spread towards East Gippsland, Victoria.
Also, leaving early is the only safe option in the event of a bushfire, so they quickly took a few possessions with them and left. And when they did go back, what they found was ashes. Their home was entirely burned to the ground.
Matt Zagami said:
“It’s just bloody devastating … to have everything taken away in one hit. The farm is one thing, but we lost everything in the house — everything.”
However, while all their belongings were gone, this was not the case with the favorite stuffed toy of their pet, the golden retriever OJ.
7News Melbourne’s reporter Louisa Cheatley tweeted:
“‘OJ’ returned to his Wairewa home today that was destroyed by fire. He found his favorite stuffed toy in the rubble.”
Apart from the beloved toy that has survived the blaze, they also found Katie Zagami’s wedding dress untouched.
— Louisa Cheatley (@LouisaCheatley) January 14, 2020
Yet, the loss of everything else was heart-wrenching. Zagami added:
“Everyday we get reminders — every hour we get a reminder of what we lost and what we haven’t got any more, and we have found it really hard to be here and look at it.”
Their home was one of the eleven ones destroyed in the area. Fortunately, there were no victims nor seriously injured residents, as the community evacuated in time.
In a Facebook post, The Wairewa Fire Brigade wrote:
“Tragedies like these will bring out the best in people & unfortunately we have seen it bring out the worst in a tiny minority. The community is rallying together to clean up, recover [and] support each other. “
Until things go back to normal again, at least OJ found comfort in his beloved toy, as a symbol of the fact that every cloud has a silver lining.
As soon as OJ saw it, he picked it up and started playing. His family took several photos of the reunion, and people were pleased to see the adorable dog playing with the favorite toy again.
This is OJ. After safely evacuating, him and his family returned to their home in Wairewa, Australia yesterday to find it entirely destroyed by the fires. But amongst the rubble, OJ found his favorite toy had survived. 14/10 never letting it go again pic.twitter.com/gx3d0P5349
— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) January 15, 2020
Many other dog owners commented on the photos, showing their love and support, and some of them even wrote that their pets would gladly share their toys with OJ!