Back to the old ‘Breeze’: Dog who survived shooting finds new home

Posted at 8:56 PM, Jan 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-01 06:23:21-05

Norfolk, Va. - "Back to the old Breeze" is what a dog's owners are saying now that she's almost fully recovered from two gunshot woulds from a month ago.

"I think she's a survivor. She wasn't going to let that stop her. Dogs: they don't understand giving up," said Breeze's owner, Kathy Gardner.

The man who shot her? Police say it's 29-year-old Alfred Myron Rattler of Virginia Beach. It happened the same night he stole five boats from Norfolk Marine according to police. 

Breeze was guarding the boat shop that night, and a scar is what she has to show for it.

When it happened, the store employees say the back boat lot belonged to her, and she would have done anything to defend it.

"At night time, she's in charge. That's her back lot. She almost died for it," said Norfolk Marine employee, John Fowler.

There are surveillance photos from the night it happened, showing the thieves stealing the boats.

Rattler is charged with grand larceny and maiming an animal, among others.

"It puts closure. We're getting there. I just wish he wouldn't have done what he did," Gardner added.

In fact, the day they found out about the arrest is the same day Breeze got her stitches out.

And now, she has a new home, as one of the store's employees adopted her, giving her all the TLC they can.

"Seeing this happen to her is what really bothered me. I knew right then that I wanted to bring her home, and just care for her, and just get her through this," Gardner said.

And they say, she's almost there.

"I knew she was going to bounce right back. It just took time. It happened a lot quicker than I expected," she said.

Her owners say that Breeze is now a retired guard dog at four-years-old, as she won't be back to Norfolk Marine to guard the boats.

But they say she will pay them a visit sometime soon, all to show how far she has come.