This Dog Miraculously Survived an Accident 1,400 Miles from Home—and Managed to Get Back

After Holly lost her beloved owner in an car accident far from home, their small hometown banded together in a way that will warm your heart.

Courtesy Kathi DoneganTrucker Robert Benjamin “Benny” Gerlock traveled hundreds of thousands of miles with his dog, Holly, who came with him on every route—including his last one. While driving near Dallas, Texas, on the job, the 59-year-old Marylander crashed into a concrete column. Gerlock was killed instantly. Looking in the back of the truck, though, rescue drivers found one survivor.

Courtesy Kathi DoneganHolly was alive.

Rescue workers cut the Chesapeake Bay retriever—practically untouched—out of the back of the truck, where she’d been sleeping. “It’s a miracle that anything survived,” Sandy Nordhoff, friend of Gerlock, told The Kent County News in 2013.

Unsure what happened to Holly, Gerlock’s friends from his town of Rock Hall, Maryland, made numerous calls and emails to agencies in to find out where the dog was. Eventually, they found out she had been staying in Dallas Animal Services shelter and a foster family had taken her in for Thanksgiving. The Rock Hall locals hatched a plan to get her home.

Joe Creighton and Sandy’s husband, Russell Nordhoff, both lifelong friends of Gerlock, volunteered to make the 2,800-mile trip from Rock Hall to Dallas and back, which took two days each way. The friends borrowed Gerlock’s pickup truck for the road so Holly would feel more comfortable on the journey home, according to The Kent County News. Find out how to tell if your dog trusts you.

SG Atkinson - ShoreToBeFunPhotographsBack in Rock Hall, some of Gerlock’s friends adopted Holly. Ever since, the dog has been a town icon, making an appearance in almost every town parade.

“The outpouring of love shown towards Benny and Holly was heartwarming,” Rock Hall resident Jamie Elburn tells Reader’s Digest. “It shows how the companionship of ‘man’s best friend’ and simple kindness can overcome even the most difficult adversity!”

Popular Videos

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.