Superhero Dog Injured In House Fire Becomes Therapy Dog For Burn Victims

A dog left scarred for life after suffering severe burns in a house fire is now training to be a therapy dog for burn victims.


It was decided that Taka, who was injured in a fire in October last year, should be trained after he began instigating fights with other dogs in the months following the accident – and he hasn’t looked back since.

As reported by WRDW, Taka’s vet, Crystal Lesley, adopted the animal after treating him. ‘I’m very proud of him, he’s a very good dog,’ the vet said.

However, it wasn’t the smoothest transition because Taka initially didn’t get on with Crystal’s other dogs. So much so, Crystal said she ‘didn’t know if [she] was going to be able to keep Taka,’ something the vet said was ‘breaking [her] heart’.

It was then that someone suggested she get the dog trained, something Crystal didn’t think was an option because of Taka’s age. According to the founder of the Canine Training Project though, dogs are never too old.

Mandy Foster explained:

They can be trained just like any other dog. 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.

I knew that there were some problems, some challenges that were happening, and I wanted to get in there and help.

At the moment, Mandy is working on distraction training, to ensure Taka is able to listen in a distracted environment. He first has to get his AKC Canine Good Citizen before he’ll be able to qualify as a therapy dog.

But Mandy’s hopeful, saying:

He’s got the right temperament for it. Of course he has the scars to show for it and he can relate to a lot of the people there so I think it’s going to benefit both him and the patients there.

Crystal couldn’t be more appreciative of Mandy’s help, saying it’s because of her she can keep Taka. ‘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,’ she added.

Hopefully Taka will fly through his training. What a good boy.


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