A North Georgia family is calling their dog a hero after their home went up in flames overnight Sunday. The family pit bull, Bella, woke up Jennifer Ross in just enough time to escape from the burning home alive.

"It's just amazing that anybody survived that," Ross said in front of her destroyed home Thursday.  "She [Bella] is really the only reason we did."

Ross, along with her mother-in-law, had been asleep for hours when Bella sensed something was wrong and began whining around 4 a.m.

"It sounded like she wanted to go out," said Ross, who admitted she was tired and wanted to go back to sleep. "I was like, 'Bella, let me sleep and I'll let you out in a little bit.'"

The dog typically gets back in bed with her owner, said Ross, but she didn't this time.

"She jumped on me, then she jumped off the bed and went to the door," she said, describing the way Bella was crying and clawing at the door.

"I got up, opened the door, and this wall of black smoke comes right in."

Ross and her mother-in-law, along with their cat and Chihuahua, followed Bella to the front door. By the time they called 911, the house was fully engulfed in flames.

"Had it not been for Miss Bella, we never would have made it out."

The family lost just about everything, including Christmas gifts, clothes and special pictures. But Ross pointed out one thing that's still on the wall -- a cross her step-daughter put in the hallway years ago.

"Literally, it is still completely intact when everything else around it is completely burnt."

Now, just one day after Christmas, Ross told Channel 3 she's counting her blessings -- all thanks to her pup, "Miss Bella."

"'Miss Beautiful' has got a really good instinct for taking care of other people."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.