Toji is a 4-year-old Kishu, an ancient and quite rare Japanese breed originally used for hunting wild boar and deer. Toji, however, had suffered the modern-day version of what often passes for "care" in rural Japan: He was tied on and kept outside with nearly no attention and no medical care. His body was a mass of raw, itching skin, a condition that would have driven most of us mad.

The day Toji came to ARK was the beginning of happy days ahead. His skin has healed now and his fur has grown in, thick and lush, and his tail is gorgeous too.

It did take time, though, for all to heal, and that includes his heart. Toji was "a real loner," according to one ARK staffer, and was very difficult to be around. With love, true caring and patience, Toji has now learned not only to trust but also to show affection. He is typical of his breed, however: wary and brave and known to be loyal to only one person or one family. This is a dog that will be yours and yours alone, but only for those who truly care.

If you are interested in adopting Toji, email ARK at [email protected] or call 050-1557-2763 Monday to Saturday (bilingual) for more info. Tokyo ARK is an NPO founded by Briton Elizabeth Oliver. It is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming abandoned animals. All animals are vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. Prospective owners are requested to undergo a screening process. Web: