There’s been an ongoing debate on whether the range of emotions that animals have measure up to human standards. But when you hear about what one goat-herding dog did, you’ll totally realize that some animals are more human than people, especially during a crisis. As you may have heard, the deadly California wildfires have been wreaking havoc in the Sonoma County area, putting homes at risks, and animals as well. So, when Roland Tembo Hendel and his family were forced to evacuate, Odin the dog decided to stay behind and look after the goats that had been entrusted to his tender loving care. But when the family returned after the fire, they were shocked by what they found.The California wildfires were practically at their doorstep and there was no way to save their property, their livestock and themselves, so the family decided to flee. The only problem was, Odin, the dog refused.
He and his family absolutely adored Odin, and they did their very best to convince him to come with them. But the dog’s mind was made up. So, he was left on his own to protect the goats as the fire approached.
The family managed to gather their other dogs and cats and hoped that Odin and their eight goats would somehow survive the horrible flames. But there really wasn’t much hope.
Odin had apparently learned to be the ultimate protector from his sister Tessa. In fact, even before the fire, you couldn’t separate him from the goats after the sun goes down to ensure no predator tries to harm them.
The post, which has since gone viral, explains that by 11:10 that evening, the flames could be seen “across the valley.” By 11:15, the winds made the fire grow wilder and violently, which led to the swift escape.
It was with a heavy heart that Hendel drove off even as the flames made their way towards Mark West Springs Road. He even recalled how the flames practically caressed the cars behind him as everyone in the neighborhood tried to escape.
Their home lay in ruins and the nearby trees were still burning in the distance. But everything he and his family had worked for was completely destroyed.
He wrote on Facebook that the forest that surrounded his property had been turned into a “smoldering wasteland,” and everything that had been left behind was damaged beyond repair.
The last thing the family was expecting was to see the goats running towards them. But Odin had also survived. He was just a bit singed and his whiskers had melted. He was also limping on one leg, but he herded his sheep to greet the family.
Not only did he protect the goats, but he also looked after a couple of baby deer. Now the family has created a fundraising page at YouCaring to help with the rebuilding costs of their property and some of Odin’s medical bills.
So far, they’ve raised $63,319, which is above their targeted $45,000 goal. So, while Hendel rebuilds, the animals get to stay at a shelter. Meanwhile, the firefighters struggle to contain and prevent wildfires like this one from hitting Sonoma County again.