06 January 2012 Oly’s Miraculous Return Posted by: John Motsinger | 2 comments | Share: 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. John Motsinger, Communications Associate John Motsinger is a Communications Associate at Defenders of Wildlife. He handles press coverage for critters in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains as well as Defenders' national work on the Endangered Species Act.