Dog Survives 4 Days Buried in an Avalanche


Superheroes are more than just figures out of a comic book. While their super-cool powers and capes may seem like requirements to qualify for superhero status, they can be everyday people doing something extraordinary. One doesnt have to dress in tights and stop five bank robbers just to be able to do something amazing.

Heck, you dont even have to be a person to be a superhero! Animals do plenty of amazing things every day, and most of the time, they dont receive the credit they deserve. At BaxterBoo, weve written blogs before about furry critters that leave us shaking our heads in disbelief, and this story is no different.

On New Years Eve, David and Kerry Gillard of Bozeman, Montana went skiing along Hayden Creek. Up at about a 9,200 elevation, just below Index Peak, an avalanche hit. Kerry had already made her way down the mountain, while David and their Welsh Corgi, Oly, were closer to the top.

David saw the mass of snow start to come down. His last words as he shouted to his wife were, retreat to the trees. Without a thought, Kerry listened to her husband and nearly escaped with her life. However, David and Oly were not so lucky.

The avalanche filled the creek were David had been skiing with 12 to 14 feet deep with snow. Kerry frantically searched for her family for nearly three hours before skiing down to get help. She raced back up with research and rescue teams to continue on. After what seemed like a lost cause, Kerry had to face the fact that she had lost her husband and her pup in a sea of snow.

Four days before the accident, the family had been staying at a hotel room in Cooke City, about 4 miles from Hayden Creek. Robert Weinstein, the owner of the hotel, was working 4 days after the accident, when he noticed something a little peculiar.

Sitting outside the room, where the family had been staying, was a stubby legged, exhausted Welsh Corgi. The owner, in total disbelief, immediately fed the dog and began calling around to make sure not to mistake its identity.

Nothing less than a miracle, Oly had been buried with his owner, but despite his extremely short legs, he dug himself out of the heaping pile of snow. The males of the breed typically only stand around a foot and weigh around 27 pounds. But, a fighter indeed, Oly, not only dug himself out, but he then trekked four miles to the hotel in freezing temperatures.

On a more bizarre note, rescue teams stated that they had searched for 48 hours and there was no sign of life anywhere. How Oly survived 4 days in a pile of snow and still managed to breathe is truly amazing! Maybe they should change his name to Super Oly from now on. At least, I think it would be quite fitting. Even though Oly's owner didn't make it out alive, his family was overwhelmed with joy to have him back.

Photo courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor

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