A dog recovers from paraplegia one year after a hit and run accident

A dog recovers from paraplegia one year after a hit and run accident

Saburo energetically running around the sandy beach with three legs in Itoman(Photograph taken by Masatoshi Moromizato).


March 14, 2014 Masaaki Umeda of Ryukyu Shimpo

A popular one-year-old male dog named Saburo energetically plays around the coast in Itoman, running in the sea spray to the amusement of locals at Fisher Craft Center. A hit-and-run accident left him a paraplegic last summer. He lost his rear left leg. However since then, Saburo has miraculously recovered from the injuries thanks to the dedicated care of the members of the center. He can now walk with three legs.

Saburo was once an abandoned dog. But in March 2013, a sixty-four-year-old sabani fishing boat-builder Kiyoshi Oshiro, who belongs to the non-profit organization Beach Lovers and manages the center, started to take care of him. Saburo loved being on sabani with Oshiro and enjoyed sea.

The members of the center and visitors grew to love Saburo and he became very popular.

Kiyoshi Oshiro (right) and Kazuaki Takara who devotedly took care of Saburo, at Fisher Craft Center in Itoman on March 10. (Photograph taken by Masatoshi Moromizato).

When Oshiro was working at the center in August 2013, he heard a hard sound. Oshiro found Saburo crying out after being struck by a hit-and-run driver.
Saburo had his back-bone broken. A veterinarian told Oshiro there was no chance that he could recover from injuries in the lower body.

Despite the option of comfortable death, Oshiro managed to pay for surgical fees by selling his sabani to save Saburo’s life. Although Saburo escaped death, he was left paraplegic.

After the accident, Saburo could not even walk. However, Kazuaki Takara who belongs to the center, and his wife Tomoko brought Saburo to the beach to take a walk for rehabilitation in the early morning and afternoon.

With a harness on his waist, Saburo continued to move his lower body slowly for rehabilitation. His rear right leg started moving. Tomoko said, “When I saw his leg moving, I was so glad that I forgot all the hardships.”

Saburo had his rear left leg cut off this February because it became necrotic. However, he recovered from the injuries so well that he can now run on the sand beach and swim because of the continuous rehabilitation.

Sabani enthusiasts in Okinawa who were worried about Saburo, collected donations.

Takara and Oshiro are overjoyed by Saburo’s recovery. Takara said, “I love seeing Saburo’s face every day. I am looking forward to seeing him on the sabani with me.” Oshiro said, “I am really glad that everyone takes care of Saburo. He has good friends.” Oshiro said, “I am really glad that Saburao recovered.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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