In October 2017, California was in flames. One of those blazes was the Tubbs Fire, which charred its way through 36,800 miles of forests
and vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma County. More than 5,600 buildings were destroyed, and 22 people were killed. But when the
flames finally died, a four-legged hero emerged from the ashes: Odin, the Great Pyrenees dog.
Odin belonged to Ariel and Roland Hendel, two farmers in Sonoma County. When the Tubbs Fire threatened to char their home, they
packed up as many of their animals and precious items as they could. Unfortunately, their flock of goats wouldn’t fit in the getaway vehicle
— and their goat-herding dog, Odin, refused to abandon them. Great Pyrenees are prized livestock guardian dogs that will do anything to
protect their charges, and Odin lived up to his breed.
“I said, ‘Okay, Odin, take care of the goats. You’ll be fine,’” Roland Hendel told ABC News. Both Hendels were sure they were seeing their dog for the last time. Their hearts sank even further when they heard their home had burned down completely. But on a trip back to examine the ashes, something amazing happened.
“In the distance, I saw Odin’s tail,” Roland told ABC. “Sure enough, there was Odin coming at the head of all his goats.” Not only did Odin survive the fire and run right up to the Hendels for belly rubs, but he also kept every single one of his goats safe! A few wild deer even joined the goats, and he shepherded them through unscathed. The incredible story made the news, and Odin became a local legend.
Unfortunately, even legends don’t live forever. This April, Odin passed away after a long life of tail-wagging, treat-eating, and goat-saving. In
his honor, Great Pyrenees Rescue of Missouri gifted the Hendels two new Great Pyrenees pups: Buddy and Snowflake. They’re following in
Odin’s pawsteps, protecting the goats he loved so much.