A brave goat-herding dog named Odin stuck by the livestock he guarded and managed to survive the California wildfires.
On October 9th, Roland Tembo Hendel and his family were forced to flee their home and property to get out of the path of the raging Tubbs Fire that approached.
The Day the Fires Came
Hendel recalls seeing the first flames across the valley at around 11:00AM. Within 5 minutes, the sky turned orange. The flames had grown so large and wild that Hendel began quickly loading up all his animals to evacuate.
But he couldn’t make his Great Pyrenees budge. Odin, their herding dog, was obstinately refusing to leave the goats behind.
Hendel tried repeatedly to make Odin get in the car, but the dog wouldn’t separate from the goats. Hendel had to make the devastating decision to leave the dog behind and flee for his life.
He cried for a week, lamenting the loss of his dog. He was sure the pets wouldn’t survive the wildfires.
A Miraculous Discovery
Upon returning, Hendel found his home and property destroyed, with fires still burning the nearby forests. The fire had consumed all of their possessions and burned everything they owned down to the ground.
And then – they saw Odin. Odin was with his sister, Tessa, and 8 of the goats. They had miraculously survived this devastating wildfire.
In a Facebook post, Hendel wrote that they returned to find Odin and all the goats – even a goat named Tinkerbell, who Odin never let fall too far behind.
Hendel wrote, “Odin has lived up to his namesake.” Odin is one of the most revered Gods in Norse mythology, known for his strength and bravery.
After Hendel recovered from the shock and awe, he arranged to get Odin and the goats to a refugee shelter at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.
There, the dog received a checkup by the volunteer veterinarians, who said he was in “remarkable health” despite what he’d ensured. Odin was limping because his paw pads were burned. But he was given soft bedding to lie on and will make a full recovery.
After his checkup, Odin was scheduled to receive a bath, a groom, and a steak dinner.
Recovering from the Devastation
Now, Hendel will have to build another barn and repair his property to get their life back to what it was before the wildfires.
To rebuild the barn, the family started a YouCaring fundraising page. As of today, it has raised more than $73,000.
Hendel has done a wonderful job detailing Odin’s survival tale, along with providing many photo and video updates of the recovering animals.
To keep up with all the latest details on this family’s miraculous journey, you can visit their Facebook page.