The wildfires in California have been absolutely devastating. They've destroyed homes and taken lives. When the fires approached Roland Tembo Hendel's home, he gathered up his family and pets to flee — but one member of the family wasn't willing to go.
In addition to three dogs and one cat, Roland's family had small flock of bottle-raised goats. Roland knew there was no way to get the goats to safety, as the flames were quickly approaching, and made the difficult decision to leave them behind.
Odin, one of Roland's goat-herding dogs, refused to leave the flock.
"Even under the best of circumstances it is nearly impossible to separate Odin from the goats after nightfall when he takes over the close watch from his sister Tessa," Hendel wrote on Facebook according to CBS. "I made a decision to leave him, and I doubt I could have made him come with us if I tried."
Roland and his family assumed the worst and mourned for Odin and their goats. When they returned home, their home and their entire property were both destroyed, ravaged by the fire.
Roland shared pictures of the damage on Facebook.
Miraculously, however, Odin survived.
And so did the goats and some deer he had rescued as well.
Odin, along with the family's other goat-herding dog, Tessa and their goats were set up in a "spacious barn with soft bedding at the refugee shelter set up at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds," Roland shared on Facebook.
Volunteer vets gave Odin a thorough check-up and said he's a in great health, all things considered. His paw-pads are burned and he's limping when he walks. He's expected to make a full recovery.
The family set up a crowdfunding site to help pay for Odin's medical care and are accepting donations to aid in his recovery.
People of the internet stepped up and the family has exceeded their funding goals.
Roland shared an update about what they plan to do with the excess money.
"We have decided that going forward, for every $1 we receive, 50 cents will go toward a replacement trailer for Odin's and Tessa's goats, and 50 cents will go to the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Center, where we once took downed animals we found on our land. This will provide care for animals affected by this tragedy, that Odin could not care for himself. Once the trailer is covered, all remaining funds will go to SCWRC."
No, YOU'RE crying. Oh, who are we kidding? We're ALL crying.