Odin the Dog takes his job very seriously. As a Great Pyrenees, it is his responsibility to look after his farm’s goats. Even when a firestorm was headed toward the city of Santa Rosa, California, the stubborn hero refused to leave. As a result, he and the goats he was looking after were abandoned. Fortunately, they miraculously survived.
At 10:55 pm, shortly before a firestorm would go on to devastate the nearby city, Roland Tembo Handel decided he and his family needed to leave their farm. Within 15 minutes, he and his daughter spotted flames licking their way across the valley. Immediately, they began loading the cats and dogs into the car. But Odin refused to go.
According to GoodNewsNetwork, Odin was “stubborn and fearless” and refused to leave his charges. So, Handal had no choice but to leave him behind — a heartbreaking decision if there ever was. Hendal wrote in a Facebook post, “I made a decision to leave him, and I doubt I could have made him come with us if I tried. We got out with our lives and what was in our pockets.”
He continued, “Even under the best of circumstances it is nearly impossible to separate Odin from the goats after nightfall when he takes over the close watch from his sister Tessa. I made a decision to leave him, and I doubt I could have made him come with us if I tried. We got out with our lives and what was in our pockets.”
“Cars behind us on Mark West Springs Road were pouring flames out of the windows as they roared down the road,” Hendal added. “Later that morning when we had outrun the fires I cried, sure that I had sentenced Odin to death, along with our precious family of bottle-raised goats.”
As soon as they could, the family snuck past the evacuation roadblocks and returned. What they found was shocking: a smoldering wasteland of forest and not a single standing structure. But incredibly, among the charred ruins, was Odin, the goats, and a few baby deer he had apparently adopted into the herd.
“I could never describe the relief and joy we felt to find them safe and accounted for,” recounted Handel.
“Eight goats came running to see us and get cuddles and kisses. Dixon has a burn on his back the size of a nickel. Other than that they are perfectly fine. Odin’s fur is burned and his whiskers melted. He is limping on his right leg. And he has adopted several baby deer who huddle around him for safety and water from their trough, which is miraculously intact and full of relatively clean water.” Handel guesses Odin guided the animals to a rocky outcropping on higher ground, where they all could avoid the blaze.
Thanks to an overflow of compassionate people, Handel has since raised enough money through his YouCaring page to rebuild the barn and replenish the animal’s water supply before winter. Funds raised that exceed $45,000 will be split between purchasing a trailer for the goats and Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Center in order to care for other animals affected by the perilous fires.
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I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here