Taka is ready to give back.
In October 2018, the Shiba Inu, 8 at the time, was badly burned in a house a fire, reports WMGT, and spent months receiving rehabilitative care at — and lots of affection — at Care More Animal Hospital in Martinez, Georgia.
According to WJBF, the veterinary staff at the hospital were assisted by doctors from the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, who volunteered their time to help the canine heal properly.
In January, a newly recovered Taka moved into his forever home with Care More Animal Hospital vet tech Crystal Lesley.
“He’s mine and I just feel like he was meant to be mine and I don’t know. I just can’t explain it,” Lesley told WJBF in January.
After accepting the help of so many animal lovers, Taka wants his turn to help others.
According to WRDW, Taka, who will always have scars from his burns, is training to be a therapy dog at a burn center, so he can provide the same support he received in his time of need.
The 9-year-old dog is being trained by Canine Training Project, and the company’s founder, Mandy Foster, is sure they can teach an older dog new tricks.
“Sometimes it takes a little bit longer, but in Taka’s case he’s nine years old and he has flown through his training. He’s brilliant,” Foster told WRDW.
Taka is currently working on mastering his basic commands, distraction training and earning his American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen certification.
Once he is a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen, Taka will begin working on the more specialized training required for a therapy dog certification.