YS 9

It’s been just a little over a month since the deadly landslides brought about by a powerful storm hammering Hiroshima City. Soon after the disaster struck, rescue crews sprang into action, providing shelter and medical assistance to victims.

We’re sure the residents are deeply grateful for the service of those who came to their aid, and while every man and woman who did is no doubt courageous and caring, the cutest of all was probably rescue dog Yumenosuke.

Not too long ago, you wouldn’t have picked Yumenosuke as the stalwart sort that others could rely on in a crisis. As a matter of fact, the dog was in a pound, facing the very real possibility of being put to sleep and so frightened that it was wetting itself.

YS 1

Miraculously, Yumenosuke was saved when he was adopted at the 11th hour. But even when he arrived at his new home, he was timid and withdrawn, despite the efforts of his kindhearted new keepers.

YS 2

After six months of loving care, though, Yumenosuke had made remarkable progress, and his physical and psychological recovery were largely complete.

YS 3

This wasn’t the end of his journey, though. In this video, released by disaster response NPO Peace Winds Japan, we see that Yumenosuke was about to go through another transformation, going from rescued dog to rescue dog.

▼ Hard to believe this is the same guy who peed himself.

YS 4

Yumenosuke’s training took him to both harsh natural and urban environments, where he learned the skills he’d need to help find disaster victims and lead his human partners to them.

▼ Hey, it worked for Rocky.

YS 6

YS 5

By the time of the Hiroshima landslides, Yumenosuke was ready for his first assignment, and accompanied aid workers to the disaster site, where he succeeded in discovering an injured survivor who was then taken to safety.

YS 7

Peace Winds Japan hopes that Yumenosuke’s story will be an inspiration to other pet owners. Even though Japan is in the middle of a protracted pet boom, the organization says that 160,000 dogs are still put to sleep every year in the country. “When choosing a pet for your family, we deeply hope that you’ll consider looking for one at an animal shelter,” Peace Winds Japan said in a statement.

Meanwhile, we’d like to offer our congratulations to Yumenosuke, and wish him luck in his new career.

▼ Nice work, kid.

YS 8

Related: Peace Winds Japan
Source, images: Grape