Meet Odin, a Great Pyrenees pup who practically defines bravery and loyalty.
As the recent fires in California’s wine country—which have so far claimed 42 lives—engulfed his family’s home, Odin wasn’t going anywhere without the bottle-fed goats his family had adopted.
“We had minutes to load up the animals and run from the advancing firestorm,” wrote Odin’s owner, Roland Hendel, on the family’s YouCaring page. “Despite the sounds of exploding propane tanks, twisting metal, and the hot swirling winds, Odin refused to leave our family of 8 bottle-fed rescue goats.”
With their surroundings in flames, and no way of transporting their goats or coaxing their dog to leave them, the family had to make the decision to leave them.
“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,” Hendel wrote on his Facebook page. “Later that morning when we had outrun the fires I cried, sure that I had sentenced Odie to death, along with our precious family of bottle-raised goats.”
But when the family was able to return to their home, a surprise was waiting for them amid the ruins—eight goats came running to see them, along with a battered Odin.
“Odin was weak, and limping, his once thick and beautiful coat singed orange, his whiskers melted,” Hendel wrote on YouCaring. ‘Even now as I write this, I am crying tears of gratitude and awe at his bravery and devotion.”
Odin—who also adopted several baby deer during the fire—is now recovering, as the flames continue to engulf Northern California. And with their barn and pump house destroyed, Hendel is asking for help on YouCaring: “I pray we can get our animal family what they need to win their heroic fight for survival, so Odin's bravery and sacrifice are not in vain.”
If you would like to help with relief efforts and the families and victims of the Northern California fires, consider donating to:
- #SonomaStrong Fire Relief and Recovery
- NorCal Fire Relief Efforts
- Napa and Sonoma County Fire Relief
- UndocuFund for Fire Relief in Sonoma County
Kareem Yasin is a writer and editor at Healthline. Outside of health and wellness, he is active in conversations about inclusivity in mainstream media, his homeland of Cyprus, and the Spice Girls. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram.