Taka is a Shiba Inu with a tragic backstory that is using his experiences to bring hope and comfort to others.
The nine-year-old dog was badly burned in a fire back in 2018, and after some time at the Care More Animal Hospital, he was adopted by one of the vet techs, Crystal Lesley, who fell head over heels for the affectionate pup.
Taka had won the hearts of everyone working at the hospital, but during his treatment, he developed a special bond with Lesley, who decided that she would be the one to foster him.
Lesley would eventually get Taka into Therapy dog training to help him bring comfort to others who have been in his situation.
Coming home with Lesley was a wonderful moment for Taka, who had recently experienced multiple traumas. He had not only lost his sight in the fire, but his family too.
The fire that disfigured Taka’s face and robbed him of his eyesight broke out in his family home while he was enjoying an afternoon snooze.
The devastating fire broke out without warning, forcing his family to flee without him.
While Taka eventually managed to get out on his own and survived the fire, he was badly burned and was in urgent need of treatment.
The dedicated vets at Care More Hospital worked hard to save Taka’s life. It took several weeks to get him healthy enough to re-join the rest of the world, and, unfortunately for Taka, he would not be returning to his family.
His family, overwhelmed by the extent of his injuries, had doubted that they would be able to give Taka the special care he would need.
They thought it was best to leave Kata to the hospital. And so, Kata was left to undergo his treatment and rehabilitation on his own, and left needing a foster family when the time came for him to leave the hospital.
The family’s difficult decision would eventually lead Taka to the wonderful life he’s leading today, but at the time it must have been heart-breaking for the poor pup to lose both his sight and his family.
So, Taka was over the moon when he finally received a new, loving home with his foster mom.
And what was originally meant to be a temporary stay, while Taka waited to find a new forever home, soon became permanent.
Lesley realised that she never wanted to give up this affectionate, positive, caring pup, and so she adopted him and became his official dog-mom.
But living together wasn’t always easy. Taka didn’t originally get along with his new doggy siblings, so Lesley decided to enrol him in the Canine Training Project.
There, Taka got the training and structure he needed to feel more confident and secure.
Since Taka was doing so well in training and seemed to enjoy it, Lesley decided to also let him enter Therapy Dog training.
She recognized that Taka had exactly the affectionate and comforting nature that would make him a perfect Therapy Dog.
And, due to his own experiences, he would be uniquely capable to relate to burn victims.
Now, it’s been more than a year since Taka found himself in that burning building and his life changed forever. Since then, he’s come such a long way.
He’s found friends for life at the Care More Animal Hospital, a whole new family to call his own, and he’s just passed his Therapy Dog training. You can keep up with Taka on his Facebook page Taka’s Journey, where he gets up to all kinds of cute and heart-warming stuff.
It’s amazing how much can change in a year, and in the coming year, we’re sure that Taka will change countless lives for the better.