SANTA ROSA, Calif. – A goat-herding dog is receiving attention after it stayed by a flock of goats amid the California wildfires last week.
The dog’s owner, Roland Tembo Hendel, detailed his courageous dog’s act in a lengthy Facebook post.
“By 11:10 we could see the first of the flames across the valley. By 11:15 they were growing larger and the winds went mad. We had loaded up the dogs and cats, but Odin, our stubborn and fearless Great Pyrenees would not leave the goats,” Hendel wrote.
Hendel said he made the decision to leave Odin, saying he was doubtful he could convince the dog to come along.
“He just sat down, looked me square in the eye – and he wasn’t budging,” he told KTVU. “I didn’t have time to figure out what to do. He was determined to stay, and he’s his own being.”
The decision to leave wasn’t easy, and Hendel said it brought him to tears.
“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,” Hendel wrote.
When the family finally made it back to their property, every structure was in ruins and some trees were still burning, according to Hendel.
“Yet, 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,” Hendel wrote.
As of Hendel’s Facebook update Monday, Odin is recovering well and was about to get a “a full grooming and shampoo later this afternoon! All after a steak brunch.”