Oly’s Miraculous Return

Dave’s dog survives avalanche and four-day trek through Montana wilderness

With the tragic death of our friend and colleague Dave Gaillard, it’s been a rough week for the entire extended Defenders family. But a ray of hope broke through the dark clouds yesterday in the form of a Welsh corgi named Oly.

Oly, the Gaillard family’s dog, had been with Dave and his wife Kerry on New Year’s Eve when they got caught in an avalanche while cross-country skiing. Oly disappeared into the tumbling snow along with Dave, and was presumed dead. Miraculously, four days later, Oly turned up at the motel in Cooke City, Montana, where Dave and Kerry had stayed the night before the avalanche.

The story has since gone viral, appearing on the Today Show this morning as well as news outlets from coast to coast. See print coverage from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Reuters, USA Today and video from NBC-Montana and the Associated Press (below).

Hopefully, Oly’s incredible survival story will help lift the spirits of Dave’s family as they gather today for his memorial service outside Bozeman, Montana.

Defenders’ President Jamie Rappaport Clark, Rocky Mountain Director Mike Leahy and the rest of the regional staff will be there to honor Dave’s memory. For the rest of us, our thoughts and prayers are with you, Dave.


2 Responses to “Oly’s Miraculous Return”

  1. stephanie jochum-natt

    My God I am shocked and saddened to hear of David’s tragic passing. He was such a passionate person about saving wildlife and wild places. My heart goes out to his friends and family. At least he was in the wilderness at the time doing what he loved. It is such a miracle that his dog survived and found its way back to the family.

  2. Morona Madsen

    Talk about a whipsaw of emotions. I grieve to lose such a caring person, who lived his life trying to save our wild life from the Destroyers. Yet I’m glad his dog came back, instead of being lost or dying. Bless you all.

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