Desperate for help

The Herald News – Joliet (IL)
July 29, 2008 | Dawn Aulet

When Royal came out of surgery and his owner, Deborah Curtis, came to see him, he buried his head in her lap. Royal, who ended up losing his entire leg to an infection, is actually a lucky dog. He was able to stay with his owner, who loves him very much and was able to have surgery to end his pain.

It might not have worked out that way, were it not for the kindness of a Channahon woman who had never met Royal or Curtis.

Some time ago, Royal had a tumor on his right front paw that was surgically removed. But his trouble did not stop there. He never healed right and had stopped using his leg.

In her desperation and knowing her dog was in pain, Curtis posted an ad on the online classified site Craigslist.

“Unable to afford surgery for beloved friend,” Curtis wrote. “Wanted veterinarian to perform surgery on a lab mix, 8-year-old black male with tumor on right front paw.”

“Will give up for adoption in order to get help for this wonderful animal.”

Her ad was seen by Tony Bagley, who passed the information onto his wife, Liz Bagley, founder of Making a Difference Rescue.

When Bagley called Curtis, the woman repeated the most difficult thing she had every said. She told Bagley she would be willing to give up the dog so he could get the help he needed.

But Bagley, who did not want to see Curtis give up the animal, asked if she would be willing to keep him.

“She said, ‘Oh my yes, I want to keep him, he’s my best friend,'” Bagley said. “I said, ‘I would want you to keep your dog if I help him,’ and she just started crying.”

The help was a bit outside the scope of what Making a Difference Rescue usually handles.

“We usually reach out to the animals that don’t have anyone,” Bagley said of her rescue that usually helps homeless animals and strays.

But Bagley has been known to go above the call of duty. In 2007, Bagley stepped in and helped with Angel, a dog who had been used as bait and was left for dead. The man who found Angel volunteered to be her owner.

After Royal’s second surgery, he is doing great.

Curtis is eternally grateful.

“It’s such a wonderful thing she’s done for me and my dog,” she said. “She really is a wonderful human being.”