We really, really, really don’t deserve dogs.

Taka is a 9-year-old Shiba Inu dog. In October, he was badly burned in a house fire, leading him to Care More Animal Hospital in Martinez, Georgia.

Photo Credit: WRDW

Taka’s vet, Crystal Lesley, decided to take him into her own home. At first, he was always starting fights with other dogs, and Crystal worried that she might be forced to give him up. But then someone suggested that he be trained.

Though already 9 years old, Taka “has flown through his training,” according to Mandy Foster, founder of the Canine Training Project.

“He’s brilliant,” she said.

So brilliant, in fact, that he is now on track to become the local burn center’s therapy dog.

“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,” Mandy told WRDW.

Taka has already mastered basic training with Mandy. He’s now working on distraction training, and he’ll soon receive his certification as an AKC “Canine Good Citizen.” Then he’ll start training as a therapy dog.

Photo Credit: WRDW

“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 this is about,” Crystal said.

We love stories like this! There’s hope in tragedy!