People don’t typically go all-out for their pets’ birthday, but when one heroic pup recently celebrated turning 2, all the neighbors came out to celebrate.
The party held in honor of Gus, a labrador from Brentwood, Tennessee, doubled as birthday celebration and a way to thank the dog for stepping up to protect the neighborhood during a recent home invasion.
In September, Gus’ home was the target of a suspected armed burglar. Gus chased down the man, trying to drive the intruder away from his family and alert the neighborhood of the danger.
But the dog’s quick-thinking heroism came at a price: the suspect shot Gus in the head.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Jess, Gus’ owner, told 10News. “You know, I heard the noise, and you know it crosses your mind for a second — ‘oh man, that sounded like a gun’ — but who expects to hear gunshots in their backyard at 10:45 in the morning?”
While he sustained a gruesome injury at close range, Gus miraculously survived. He was rushed to the vet and later confirmed to be in stable condition.
“He was shot in the head above his eye, but the vet staff said that it traveled through his ear canal and exited through his neck.”
According to WZTV, police arrested 20-year-old Kequan Waller as the suspected shooter. They found a .380 semi-automatic pistol and a stolen vehicle in his possession. He is now behind bars, charged with theft over $10,000 and being a felon in possession of a firearm, with other charges pending.
Meanwhile, Gus was hailed as a hero. Neighbors praised the brave canine for putting himself in harm’s way to help alert them to the danger.
And the Brentwood Police Department said they “salute his bravery and toughness,” wishing him a speedy recovery.
Weeks have passed since the incident, and Gus has now recovered from his gunshot wound.
And when his second birthday arrived this month, the whole neighborhood came out to celebrate this amazing dog.
Jess organized a birthday bash for Gus, complete with cake, balloons and gifts for the birthday boy: “We just think, ‘OK, this is a life worth celebrating,'” Jess told News10.
Neighbors showed up to shower praise on Gus — they all feel safer now knowing he’s standing guard.
“He’s a neighborhood hero. That’s what he is,” said local man Phillip Elam, who was the first to find Gus after the shooting. “We call him ‘super dog.'”
Happy birthday, Gus! Thank you for defending your neighborhood from an armed burglar — you’re a true hero!
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