updated 01/06/2012 AT 2:10 PM ET
•originally published 01/06/2012 AT 2:45 PM ET
The avalanche killed his owner, but somehow, a Welsh corgi named Ole made it out – and home – alive.
Ole had been with owners Dave and Kerry Gaillard, who were skiing near Montana’s Index Peak last weekend, when Dave, 44, was buried by an avalanche.
The dog had disappeared from the site and was presumed dead, but four days later, he was spotted walking back to civilization. In fact, Ole made it all the way to the Cooke City, Mont., hotel where the Gaillards had been staying.
“It’s a miracle,” local businessman Bill Whittle told the Billings Gazette.
Unsurprisingly, Ole appeared hungry, thirsty and frightened, but he has since been reunited with the Gaillard family.
“The family is super excited,” Mark Staples, of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, said. “It’s one bright spot for them.”
[RELATED_TEXT “Can’t get enough pet news? See more on PEOPLE Pets