Curly Sue

written by Connie Versagi

Curly Sue was her name. We didn’t know what to expect when we received the email from the Humane Society. They said she needed help as they could not afford the kind of care she needed.

You see, her caretaker was a man who cooked and distributed methadone. They were sure that he had long forgotten that he even had a dog as his life was all about the drugs. People had seen this dog traveling over 20 miles on country roads- making her way back to her “home” after he had taken her with him in his pickup and left her after she jumped out . This home was the only one that she has ever known – even as bad as it was.  She was a devoted girl to return to the squalor that she lived in and who knows where she might find her next meal or water.  She was devoted to the one that never cared for her physically or mentally.

She was very ill from neglect, pus oozing out from her ears and everywhere on her skin.  Could a dog really endure the pain and discomfort and yet still be kind and gentle?  Curly let them tend to her as best they could.  She even wagged her tail and watched through soft eyes. They all fell in love with her and just wanted someone to help her, please!   ATRA was there to respond to their call for help.

Curly Sue was taken to the vet, where she stayed for over a month.  She went through two  rounds of antibiotics and anti-fungal meds.  She had such a bad yeast infection on her skin that needed more time and more medication.  She couldn’t be with other dogs yet as she was contagious.  She had ring worm everywhere and her skin condition showed no signs of improvement.  Everyone at the hospital loved her but she was fairly isolated due to her condition.  Who wanted to pet you when you smelled and had ringworm?  She was definitely suffering the physical effects of methadone exposure.  It had been a toxic, poisonous environment.  She was badly neglected. She was so sad, going into the depression that comes with withdrawal from the drug.

Yet she has that Airedale spirit and heart that we ‘dale people love.  She is the epitome of the breed. Her heart and body responded first to the medication and then her spirit to the ATRA volunteers who went to see her every day, take her for a ride in the car.  In the past weeks, she has gotten much better.

She was finally released to an ATRA foster home.  Her coat is soft and beautiful.  She bounces, smiles, and eats.  She is a happy dog.  With time and love, the rest of the hurt will disappear from her eyes.  She will be a gift to the lucky person that shares their life with our Curls.

While Curls is now out of the Animal Hospital, her care has cost ATRA over a $1000.  She continues to be monitored and requires twice weekly baths and will remain on a special diet that is for allergic dogs. She continues to improve daily.


Curly Sue has found her forever home!

Make a Donation for Airedales like Curly Sue

To make a credit card donation, click here.
To make a paypal donation, use
To to make a donation by check, make your check out to "ATRA" and send it to
    1123 Vesper Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  48103