August 06, 2012

Oogy, by Larry Levin

Oogy: the cover states, “the dog only a family could love”. But I’d bet that everyone who reads this book will fall in love with Oogy right from the beginning.  You’d have to be a pretty cold, hard person not to have the story of Oogy tug at your heart strings. I mean, come on, he entered this world as an innocent puppy and was almost immediately put to work as a bait dog! Only a few months old, Oogy was found missing half his face and an ear, just barely hanging on. If he hadn’t been delivered to the Ardmore Animal Hospital when he was, he most definitely wouldn’t have survived.  

It’s no secret that I love dogs, but more specifically, I love dogs of the pit bull type. I will always have a soft-spot for them in my heart, always. So really, it was no surprise that I loved this book.  I know not every dog can be saved, but I’m thankful for the people that try and I’m glad when they choose to share their story with the world. I had actually stumbled across this book a few years ago and gave it to my mom for a present, and then this past Christmas,  I unexpectedly received my own copy from my nephews (they know me too well!). 

The author and narrator of this story, Larry Levin, had no intentions of adopting a dog, let alone a rescued bait dog. But one fateful day, when Larry and his adopted twin sons had been at Ardmore to have the family cat put down, they ran into Oogy just as they were about to leave.   When Oogy spotted them, he used all his energy to make a break for the boys.  Larry and his boys were not immune to Oogy’s charm and they instantly fell in love with this kindred spirit, this “oogly” dog. (Get it...oogly...Oogy?).  What happens next is what every dog owner out there already knows: the dog becomes part of your family over night. They steal a piece of your heart and without even knowing it, you love and care for your dog unconditionally. Well, unless you are made of stone. In that case, this book isn’t for you. 

This was a sweet, quick read. While the author would sometimes go off on a bit of a descriptive tangent that really had nothing to do with the story of Oogy, (like, I don’t need to read for two whole pages about how to buckle a car seat into my car thank you very much, or how long you microwave your coffee for), the story did flow nicely and I had a hard time putting the book down. The story of Oogy sucks you in! Oogy’s charm, his goofiness, his love of life jumps off the page at you. Heck, I want to meet Oogy now!  It also helped to know that Oogy is still alive so the probability of a sad ending was low. Not that I didn’t shed a few tears, but that’s only because dog stories, happy or sad, make me tear up. 

So if you’re anything like me, and a sucker for a heartfelt doggy story, then Oogy is your guy...or book. And if you're anything like me, don't read this book in the middle of a food court on your lunch break.


  1. Aww ... I don't know if I could read this -- it seems pretty sad!!! I love animal books, especially ones with dogs. Not sure how I would do reading one where the dog gets hurt. Natural death I can understand, but to lose half a face and an ear? That's just wrong. Love the name! Oogy ...

    Great review, Brie!

    1. I love his name, too! It was heart-breaking to read about Oogy's life and recovery in the beginning, but after that the tears were good tears lol.