Shiba Inu in Western Japan Helps Save Man from Gutter; Hyogo Pref. Presents Dog, Owner, with Award

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The dog Teritama is seen with his owner holding their award at the Takarazuka Police Station in Hyogo Prefecture.

KOBE — A Shiba Inu dog has helped save a man in his 70s stuck in a gutter in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, by pulling on his leash and leading his owner to the man.

The male dog, Teritama, and his 30-year-old owner, who live in the city, were handed the prefectural government’s Nojigiku award for their good deed on Tuesday.

According to the owner, while he was walking Teritama in a residential area of the city around 1 a.m. on April 12, the dog began to deviate from his usual path and led the owner into a dark alley by tugging on his leash. Then the owner heard a low voice that sounded like a call for help.

The owner found a man stuck in a gutter, 1.2 meters deep and 50 centimeters wide, and called the police and an ambulance.

The man had suffered a head injury but was brought to safety. He had fallen into the gutter while trying to pick up a lighter he had dropped, and he had been stuck there for about an hour.

“It was still chilly in mornings and evenings, so the man’s life could’ve been in danger,” said the chief of the Takarazuka Police Station at the award ceremony.

“I want to praise Teritama for finding the man,” the dog’s owner said.