I’ve just finished reading Oogy: the dog only a family could love by Larry Levin. This New York Times bestseller tells the story of Oogy, a puppy that had been used for bait in dog fighting, and the Levin family who adopted him.
In many ways, this is a story about fate. Fate in how a badly injured Oogy was brought to an animal hospital offering after-hours treatment. Fate because a woman who worked at the hospital (later called ‘Saint Diane’) recognised Oogy’s special character and intervened to ensure Oogy got life-saving treatment and care. Fate because the Levin family met him when they had brought their sick cat to be put to sleep and decided to adopt him.
Oogy lost his left ear and and a good portion of his jaw and face to dog fighting. It appears that he was used as bait because he wasn’t a good fighter and then left in an abandoned house to die without care or attention.
The Levins named him Oogy because it was a derivation of ‘Ugly.’ Mr Levin is the first to admit that when he first met Oogy, his appearance was grotesque. (The dog had a lot of scar tissue which was operated on later.) In fact, Oogy was so disfigured that, because of the connection to dog fighting, everyone assumed Oogy was a pit bull.
As he matured, it was agreed that Oogy was a Dogo Argentino, one of the breeds that is often discriminated against and termed ‘dangerous.’
Read this book and enjoy the Levin’s journey with Oogy. Read about how his charm wins over residents who were scared of him; read about the care the Levins provided for Oogy, seeing him through corrective surgeries as well as rehabilitation from cruciate ligament ruptures.
Finally, I think one of the best parts of this book is how Levin describes the responsibility of the pet owner:
‘It has always been my belief that a pet owner has a special responsibility to do everything that can be done to make the pet’s life as fulfilling and peaceful as possible. That responsibility is yours the moment you make the choice to take an animal into your life.’