In the bestselling tradition of Rescuing Sprite comes the story of a puppy brought back from the brink of death, and the family he adopted.
In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms, and decided to take him home.
Heartwarming and redemptive, OOGY is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.
I absolutely loved listening to this audiobook that was read by Joe Barrett. I listen to my audiobooks in the car and when I walked in the door at night after listening to this book I just wanted to give my dog a big hug for being such a special part of our lives!
Oogy is obviously a very special dog that was introduced to the Levin family during a time of need. The ugliest dog that they could ever imagine seemed to find a place in the family's hearts immediately. They adopted Oogy as just a puppy thinking he was going to grow to about 50 pounds, but not realizing that he was a rare breed of dog not very common to the U.S., he grew much larger than anticipated. Oogy was just a few months old when he was adopted and to think that he was mangled to disfigurement from being used as a bait dog for dogfighting is just heartbreaking. So be prepared to have your heartstrings tugged if you decide to pick up this book!
Knowing the pain and hurt that Oogy had already endured, the Levin family was very hesitant to enforce obedience with Oogy within the home. I can hardly blame them, as I probably would have acted the same way. This did create quite the challenges for the family as Oogy basically found himself running the household. It wasn't uncommon to have Oogy climb on the dinner table during mealtime or even raid the refrigerator when no-one was looking.
The lives of the Levin family obviously changed to help Oogy settle into their household. As Oogy became such a special member of their family they wanted to protect Oogy and keep him safe just as much as that dog wanted to protect them. When Oogy started to face some medical challenges it was heartbreaking for the family to watch Oogy in such physical pain as he seemed to lose his spirit and fun personality. They worked together to get Oogy healthy again and so his happy demeanor eventually returned.
Once again I can't help but say that I loved listening to this book! Learning about how Oogy was treated as such a young puppy was very hard to listen to, but I think it is also important. I have often heard about how inhumane dogfighting is but I guess I have been sheltered as to what the extent of the abuse actually is. If you are looking for a non-fiction book that will bring you into the life of a family as they take in this special dog and let him become one of them, then this book is for you.
My Rating: 4/5
Disclosure: This audiobook was provided to me from Anna at Hachette in exchange for an honest review.