Author: Larry Levin
Published By: Grand Central Publishing
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I first saw the picture on this book, I fell in love. Sure, the dog had one ear and a lopsided look to him, but this dog named Oogy had this look in his eyes that an animal lover like me could not ignore. It was a look of unconditional love. I had made up my mind to get my hands on this book.
For Larry Levin’s first book, Oogy is well-written and an interesting read. Levin didn’t just write about a dog that had been abused and found a happy home with the Levins. He took us on the journey his family took before Oogy ever came into their lives that ensured that a dog with his experience would find a loving home for life.
When Oogy first came to the Ardmore Animal Hospital in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, no one could have known that he would survive the horrible injuries suffered as a bait dog found during a police raid. Missing half of his face and his left ear, no one could have expected this poor puppy to be anything but pained and stressed, yet the dog sat their wagging his tail when Diane Klein, Administrator of Ardmore Hospital first met him. It was the beauty of this…the fact that this dog had obviously suffered horribly yet still had love to give…that decided Klein. She knew this dog had to be given every chance he could to survive and persuaded Dr. Bianco to repair Oogy’s injuries and build up his health.
When Larry Levin stopped at Ardmore Animal Hospital to drop off his dying cat for euthanasia, Oogy was being taken for a walk. In another moment, he was pulling away from his handler to offer up as much love as he could to Larry Levin and his twin sons. From that moment, Levin knew he had to adopt this dog. Adoption was nothing new to the Levin family – their twin sons were adopted. Despite all that Oogy has been through, Oogy became the “third twin” and became an inspiration for the entire family.
There are a number of reasons why I would recommend reading this book. For one thing, Oogy is quite the inspirational read. For all of the horrors perpetrated on this pup, he still had so much love in him to give others. It’s important to get this message out. That a dog who has been abused often can be incredibly loving to someone who shows him/her love, something it is not used to. Oogy also offers up a message about the importance of adoption. Giving a loving home to children who need one is just as important as giving one to an animal that needs one and Levin makes certain that he gets that idea across.
There is a message of love and dedication in this book as well. The love and dedication in this family is mutual. The family loves and is dedicated to Oogy, despite all of his special needs, and he, in turn, is incredibly dedicated to the family.
Another important message that this book gets across is that dogs like Oogy do not make bad pets. At first, Oogy was believed to be a pit bull mix, but in reality, Oogy is a Dogo Argentino. Like pit bulls, Dogos get a bad name as fighting dogs, despite the fact that these dogs are not bred for such things by scrupulous people. Many people are terrified of these breeds after hearing the horror stories of dogs such as these who less than scrupulous people breed to do horrible things. But, from personal experience, I know that dogs from these breeds can be incredibly loving and dedicated pets that deserve good homes.
Oogy is a wonderful read, written with a tremendous amount of love. It’s a wonderfully uplifting book that any animal lover will enjoy.