An 8-year-old Shiba Inu dog was caught in a fire last week, while he was trapped inside a screened-in porch.
His family tried hard to help their beloved dog to escape but they could not get him in time as they were running from the house.
But then, Taka was thankfully able to escape on his own — running down the street and finding solace in a neighbor who found him and took him straight to Care More Animal Hospital in Martinez, Georgia.
“He had burns around his eyes, his mouth, his ears, his belly,” a vet at Care More Animal Hospital, Emily Martin, shared with The Dodo. “We really didn’t know how severe his injuries were initially, just because we had to worry about inhalation burns.”
And unfortunately, Taka’s eyes were terribly injured and he ended up going blind.
The vet then transferred him to a clinic at the University of Georgia after he started having trouble breathing. It was there that Taka was hooked up to an oxygen machine and after a few days, he was finally strong enough to get back to Care More Animal Hospital.
The team at the hospital is doing their best to help Taka feel better.
“I try to treat my patients all the same, but his case pulled at my heartstrings a bit more,” an employee named Martin shared. “When he came in, he was screaming from pain … but he calmed down the moment you sat with him and started singing to him.”
Martin also spoke with Taka’s family not long after he arrived at the hospital and found that they wanted to give up Taka into Martin’s care in the name of health. And since that conversation, Martin wasn’t just Taka’s vet but his mom.
And as the hospital is not open 24 hours a day — Martin even took Taka home with her one night so the dog did not have to sleep alone.
“I was up with him all night at my house, so the following day, we were both exhausted,” Martin said.
Martin even crawled into Taka’s cage at the vet hospital the next day and the two of them took a nap together. And one of Martin’s coworkers was able to snap a photo of the sweet moment.
One of the most remarkable things about Taka according to Martin is how despite everything he’s faced — he is so gentle.
“He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” Martin said. “A lot of times when animals are in pain, they’ll start biting just because they hurt, but he hasn’t once tried to bite. If anything, he’s comforted by people.”
And although it is unclear how the burns will affect Taka over time — Martin and the other vets are hopeful he will make a full recovery. He has also started eating and going to the bathroom on his own.
“He’s definitely in a lot of pain, so he’s definitely not out of the woods, but we’re hopeful that he’s going to be OK,” Martin said.
And Taka’s personality is starting to shine through too!
“He likes his belly rubs, and he loves food, so he’s a little piggy,” Martin said. “He also likes to cuddle.”
Martin has even considered adopting Taka for herself but admits she already has five other dogs and a 7-month-old baby and how her home may not be the best place for a dog who needs lots of individual attention and care.
But if Taka does go up for adoption — Martin wants to find him the absolute best home with those who know how special he is.
“He went through something so traumatic and so painful, and yet he doesn’t give up,” Martin said. “He’s so resilient.”
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