Some animals are so pure of spirit, they won’t lash out at humans even when they’re in extreme pain.
Taka is just such a dog. The Shiba Inu survived a terrible house fire in 2018 and was left with horrible burns on his face, stomach, and paws. He also went mostly blind from the ordeal, but the kind professionals at Care More Animal Hospital in Martinez, Georgia nursed him back to life.
After his owners surrendered him due to the extent of care he required, veterinarian Emily Martin stepped in to give him the love and affection he needed to fully heal. He was eventually adopted by Care More Animal Hospital worker Crystal Lesley.
Taka’s burns have now healed, but the fire left him with patches of exposed skin where his fur will no longer grow. He has very limited vision, so his owners make sure to keep his routine the same each day so he can feel safe. In spite of his physical limitations, Taka continues to prove he’s a fighter who loves humans so much, he became a therapy dog.
“[He] is the strongest, bravest little fighter you will ever meet,” Crystal told The Dodo. “He is an extremely feisty dog and nothing gets him down. He loves life!”
Throughout his painful rehabilitation, Taka never once showed any aggression towards the humans attempting to help him. He has such a sweet nature and temperament that Crystal had him trained as a therapy dog so he could visit burn centers and comfort their patients.
Everyone who meets Taka adores him! They’re inspired by his recovery, especially considering he’s the same fun-loving dog he was before his accident.
“The people in the Burn unit LOVE Taka,” said Crystal. “They want to pet him and get his picture and hear all about his story. He definitely brightens their day… Taka is the hero of a new coloring book that was made and put out by the burn center, so he got to go around and help [hand] them out to the children. He seemed to love it.”
Taka is now 12 years old and starting to slow down, but he still makes the occasional visit to the local burn units to give patients a shot of hope for their own recovery journey. He also spends time with Crystal at work, where he comforts scared dogs who come into the clinic.
One look at his sweet face is enough to put all of our trivial worries into perspective.
“When you have a bad day or start feeling bad about your life, look at Taka,” Crystal said. “He is the epitome of strength … He has changed my life greatly. He is my inspiration.”
Taka is such a hero! This little dog managed to persevere trough intense agony to become a beacon of hope for others, both animal and human. He’s a great reminder to stay strong and focus on the future no matter how painful life may be right now.
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