After enjoying their family’s barbecue, Roland Handel began preparing for bed for the night. Just then, California’s wildfire began to spread their way to Sonoma County. His family owned a barn that now sat in danger. Unfortunately, the flames threatened their home and livestock.
Knowing he needed to act now, he gathered his family and as many animals as he could, and he took off in his hatchback and trailer.
Odin Wasn’t Going Anywhere
He ran to get his Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Odin. As Roland retrieved him, Odin walked back and forth looking at the goats. Then, he sat in the grass to block the owner off from the herd. You could tell this dog would not leave his crew.
Roland now faced a troubling dilemma: There was no time to gather the goats into the trailer, and Odin wouldn’t budge without them. Roland’s fourteen-year-old daughter and his other animals waited nervously in the car as the winds picked up speed and the flames grew fiercer.
Clueless on how to respond, Roland opened the gates for the animals to flee.
“It was life and death,” Roland said.
Doing so, he drove off and came back when it was safe.
When he returned, his property was in ruins. Ravaged by the flames, his barn and belongings were gone. Everything had been reduced to rubble and ash.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Roland said. “Everything else is gone. There’s nothing.”
As Roland walked through the devastation, he then saw a miracle had taken place. From the devastation, eight goats eagerly ran forward and cuddled up to him.
“The goats were there,” said Roland. “Eight goats and he didn’t lose a single one.”
Among the goats, Odin limped up to his owners and greeted them excitedly. He seemed tired and weak. Sadly, his paws got seared and his whiskers melted. Luckily, he still lived.
After going to the vet, they received news Odin would make a full recovery!