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'A life worth celebrating': Tennessee neighbors gather for hero dog's second birthday

Brentwood residents gather for 'a life worth celebrating'
Posted at 2:50 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 16:50:46-04

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — It was everything you’d expect to find at a birthday party, and it was all to celebrate a very good boy.

“He’s the neighborhood protector now,” said Jess, a resident of Brentwood and owner of Gus the labrador.

Several weeks ago, Gus' normally quiet Brentwood neighborhood was the target of a suspected burglar.

“I just couldn’t believe it," said Jess. "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?”

The shot was fired at Gus.

“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," said Jess.

Neighbors believe Gus broke through his electric fence, chasing the suspect away.

Gus eventually made his way to Phillip Elam's house several blocks away.

"Then all of a sudden he turned to me, and I saw a bullet hole in his head, and then I knew something bad had happened,” said Elam.

Now, the suspect is behind bars, and Gus is turning two.

"We just think, 'OK, this is a life worth celebrating,'" Jess said. She organized a neighborhood birthday party for their dog.

"He’s a neighborhood hero. That’s what he is," said Elam. "We call him 'super dog.'"

Gus is a super dog that’s brought a neighborhood together and kept his family safe.

Olivia Michael at WTVF first reported this story.