“Carelessness is no excuse,” Veteran says service dog was grazed by bullet in backyard


HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – You’ll be hard-pressed to find a five-year-old Soldier, not standing by Gary Gannon’s side. The five-year-old Belgian Shepherd has called Hickman County home for two years.

But Monday night, Soldier was taking care of business, let out back for a bathroom break when Gary heard the pop.

“I was standing there by the door waiting for him,” he explained. “All of a sudden I hear a gunshot, and I heard a yelp at the same time, he come flying up from down there.”

Soldier bolted for the bathroom, where he hid all night long.

Gary soon spotted the shiny redraw spot on the Soldier’s head.

“Got him inside the house, looked at him, and I saw where he’d been hit right there,” he added.

Soldier had been grazed between his eyes.

The Hickman County Sheriff’s office is investigating, but they’re not sure exactly what was fired.

Gary is a Vietnam War veteran and says he knows gunfire when he hears it. He also noted it’s not uncommon to hear in the Hickman County country.

Gary and Soldier are together in fact, because of his service.

The two were paired up years ago, through the Working Dogs for Vets program in Lawrenceburg.

“He’s trained for mobility, I’m not stable on my feet – and he’s also trained for PTSD,” explained Gary. “He got me back outside, more or less got me off of my duff and back into the world, cause he gave me the confidence.”

That confidence though was shaken Monday night.

Gary hopes neighbors, and others in rural Tennessee will take the danger of errant gunfire seriously.

“It could’ve really been a disaster if it had struck my wife, struck me, or struck one of the grandkids here,” he said. “Carelessness is no excuse.”

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