She lost her ‘best friend’ in a house fire, but a relative’s dog is her new buddy

Nona and Stella relax on her bed at her uncle and aunt’s house.
Nona and Stella relax on her bed at her uncle and aunt’s house. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A young Glenhaven girl who lost her home and beloved dog in a house fire last week has made friends with a relative’s dog in the home where she and her mom are staying.

“It’s her new buddy,” said Chief Omar Mejia of Whatcom County Fire District 18, the volunteer agency that serves South Lake Whatcom, Glenhaven and Cain Lake Road.

“Nona may have lost her dog in the fire but her aunt and uncle’s dog Stella has stepped up to show Nona that she still has a best friend,” Mejia wrote on the fire department’s Facebook page.

Mejia said firefighters visited 7-year-old Nona Dodd last week, bringing her a copy of the book “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2” that they signed with encouraging messages.

Firefighters wrote encouraging messages to Nona in a book they brought for her last week. Whatcom County Fire District 18 Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

They arrived in a fire engine, ambulance and other vehicles with their emergency lights on, Mejia said. They also brought $500 for Nona and her mom to help make the holidays a little happier.

“We told her that we have her back no matter what,” Mejia said. “We tried our best to save her best friend. It was an effort to show our support.”

Nona and her mother, Kami Dodd, lost the Deerhaven Lane house where they were living Dec. 3 to a fire that started in the bathroom. Her dog Maude died in the fire, but firefighters were able to save and revive three kittens in the home, Mejia said.

Kami and Nona, who weren’t home when the fire started, lost all their possessions. A GoFundMe effort has raised some $10,415 as of Monday.

A photo at Seattle DogSpot shows Nona and Maude, a smiling pit bull, at Christmas in happier times.

“The community has really come together to help out,” Mejia said. “They’re doing better but they can always use more help.”

In addition to the GoFundMe account, donations can be brought to 664 Rainbow Drive between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays in the Glenhaven area.

Bellingham Herald reporter Robert Mittendorf is a volunteer firefighter with South Whatcom Fire Authority, which helped fight the December 3 fire.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty