It was an unusual reunion, but an emotional one nonetheless.
After returning to their home in Wairewa, Australia, the Zagami family found their property completely destroyed. “It’s just bloody devastating … to have everything taken away in one hit,” Matt Zagami told ABC Gippsland. “The farm is one thing, but we lost everything in the house — everything.”
But as it turned out, that wasn’t entirely true.
While assessing the damage, the Zagami family’s dog, a golden retriever named OJ, found that his most beloved stuffed toy had remarkably survived the blaze. And the pup couldn’t be happier to be reunited with his best friend.
“‘OJ’ returned to his Wairewa home today that was completely destroyed by fire. He found his favorite stuffed toy in the rubble,” Louisa Cheatley, a reporter with 7News Melbourne, tweeted on Tuesday.
Along with OJ’s beloved toy, another item to survive the wildfire was Katie Zagami’s wedding dress. While the family is grateful for these small silver linings, it hasn’t made the recovery process any easier.
“Every day we get reminders — every hour we get a reminder of what we lost and what we haven’t got anymore, and we have found it really hard to be here and look at it,” Zagami said.
According to the town’s fire brigade, the Zagamis’ house was one of 11 destroyed in Wairewa. Thankfully, the community evacuated in time and there were no lives lost or serious injuries. “The community is rallying together to clean up, recover [and] support each other,” the Wairewa Fire Brigade wrote on Facebook.
The stuffed toy is a reminder that a little bit of comfort can go a long way when things look bleakest. Just ask OJ.