Heroic Dog Wouldn’t Leave Herd of Goats In Santa Rosa Wildfire

They say that dogs are man’s best friend, but it turns out canines actually pretty loyal to their fellow animals as well. One Great Pyrenees refused to leave the flock of goats he tends, even as the Tubbs Fire, which has ravaged much of northern California, threatened his life.

In and around Santa Rosa, the wildfires have killed at least 41 people and destroyed 6,700 homes and businesses, according to the Sacramento Bee. Like many people, homeowner Roland Tembo Hendel was forced to evacuate as the flames engulfed his property. Hendel’s family members set out to leave with their cats and dogs, but they did not have room to transport their flock of eight goats.

And one of the family’s dogs, Odin, refused to leave the goats behind.

In a Facebook post, Hendel described the dog’s incredible loyalty, writing:

“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.”


Although the family was heartbroken at the prospect of leaving Odin and their goats behind, they felt they had no choice but to flee and hope for the best but prepare for the worst. After a harrowing drive, Hendel’s family made it to safety. When the fire died down enough for the family to return to their property, they were shocked by what they found: Odin and the eight goats, all alive.

Hendel wrote in his Facebook post:

“Today, we were able to make it back to the smoldering wasteland of our forest. Every structure is in ruins. Trees are still burning. 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.”

What a miracle! The family has set up a YouCaring fundraiser for the medical care Odin will need to fully recover and they have already surpassed their goal. We’re so glad this story has a happy ending, and we wish Odin — and his goats — a swift recovery!