For a 9-year-old dog, Taka has been through a lot. In October Taka was badly burned in a house fire that burned off large portions of his fur and left the dog with deep scars on his face and back.
But now that trauma will be turned into something positive—Taka is being trained to be a therapy dog to help burn victims. Taka’s owner Crystal Lesley was initially his vet before adopting him and she was emotional when telling WRDW about her dog’s journey from victim to helper, saying, “I’m very proud of him. He’s a very good dog.”
To achieve the necessary certification Taka is being trained by Mandy Foster, founder of the Canine Training Project, in skills such as distraction training, that will in turn make him an effective therapy dog.
According to Foster, despite being nine years old, Taka has “flown through his training. He’s brilliant.”
“To see that he could be an encouragement or at least a light at the end of the tunnel for a child or anybody that has gone through what he’s gone through is what all of this is about.”