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Family shocked and inspired by the bravery of their dog as fires rage

Odin and Tessa dogs from Napa Valley, CA dog-wow
© Roland Tembo Hendel – Facebook

The recent spate of forest fires in California’s Napa valley has cause untold devastation. Learn the story of how one heroic dog braved the flames to protect his herd. 

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 02/11/2019, 17:00, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:22

Odin the Great Pyrenees and his owner were in the vicinity of the Kincade Fire last week. The dog became a celebrity in 2017 when he saved a herd of goats from death during the Tubbs fire in the same region.

 

A gorgeous Sunday in the shade.

Posted by Roland Tembo Hendel on Sunday, September 22, 2019


During the firestorm in 2017, Odin not only protected his flock, he also seemingly adopted several baby deer who were huddled around him for safety.

This time Odin remained as stalwart as ever. As his family was forced to flee the area, the dog stood firm and refused to leave the herd. Odin’s dad Roland Hendel was left with no option. As the fire began to make its presence felt he left the farmstead with his family and Odin’s sister Tessa in tow.

Odin would face the fire alone.

Return to dystopia

As the fires died back the Hendels returned to where their home used to be and feared the worst of their beloved guard dog. Incredibly, they found Odin and the entire herd alive, albeit with some singed whiskers and fur.


We’re a little better prepared this time…me, personally,” Hendel told 5 KPIX. “Odin is a veteran. Certainly fire crews and first responders.

It’s no less terrifying and heartbreaking, being in the middle of it. But it certainly feels a lot better having learned lessons of the Tubbs Fire.

The recent Kincade Fire has burned over 70,000 acres and was 15% contained as of Monday evening (28/10/19).

Odin needs his rest

Beneath his Facebook video Hendel writes, “We made it back to the land. We have found a secret back way in past the roadblocks. Odin has more energy today and seems less exhausted. His eyes are clear and he has no signs of blood or mucous around his nose.

He and the goats are all coughing occasionally, as are we, but nothing too alarming. Most importantly we were able to reunite him with his sister, Tessa. I was not able to capture the initial reunion, but I’ve posted a clip of them together, shortly thereafter.”

 

Day 3, ATF (After the Fire). We made it back to the land. We have found a secret back way in past the roadblocks. Odin has more energy today and seems less exhausted. His eyes are clear and he has no signs of blood or mucous around his nose. He and the goats are all coughing occasionally, as are we, but nothing too alarming. Most importantly we were able to reunite him with his sister, Tessa. I was not able to capture the initial reunion, but I’ve posted a clip of them together, shortly thereafter. Our next immediate priority is to get them a stable water supply. We are designing a temporary system using what remains of the well-head and submersible pump. I was not able to setup a gofundme or equivalent page this evening. We are too exhausted from the day, putting our spot-fires and gathering supplies. I am planning to take the morning tomorrow to get this setup. Thank you all for your love and support. We are overwhelmed with gratitude. All around us people are still being evacuated, facing the horror we faced three nights ago. Our hearts and prayers are with you all. #SonomaStrong, #ISaluteOdin

Posted by Roland Tembo Hendel on Wednesday, October 11, 2017