May 7, 2012


the dog only a family could love
by Larry Levin

This is the story of a family adopting a dog who survived against the most horrendous odds. As a small puppy, Oogy was used as bait for fighting dogs. When a policeman rescued him, his head had been severely mauled. The vets didn't think they could save him, and it was doubtful they could find him a home even if he did live (he looked like a pit bull). But something about the puppy's calm demeanor and friendliness even when he was suffering horribly and had been awfully abused, made them determined to save his life.

Levin's family met the dog when they came to the veterinary hospital with their cat who was ready to leave this life. The puppy hurled himself at them with love and after their initial shock at his appearance, they felt he simply belonged to them. They took him home. The book tells the story of how he became part of their family, the trials he survived, and the bond that grew between them. It's a pretty organized little book, each chapter having a strong focus. One tells all about the author trying to discover more about Oogy's backstory, another details a daily routine in their household, so the reader can see how completely the dog integrated himself into their lives. Another chapter relates his destructive puppy years, another focuses on the veterinary care and surgeries Oogy required to keep him healthy, another talks about reactions the public had when he was taken for walks, and how he enjoys dog parks. Surprisingly, it turns out that Oogy isn't a pit breed at all, but a Dogo (which pretty much explains his wonderful temperament). Near the end of the book, the author had decided to train Oogy to be a therapy dog. He hoped that the dog's friendliness and survival story would touch the hearts of hospitalized children or veterans who could relate to having disfiguring injuries. I kind of wish he'd waited a bit before writing his book, so the reader could find out about his experiences working as a therapy dog as well... All in all, it's a very touching story and a rapid, easy read.

Borrowed this one from the public library.

Rating: 3/5 ......... 214 pages, 2010

more opinions:
 Broken Penguins
A Foodie Bibliophile
Fiction Addiction
Pull up a Chair and Have a Cup of Tea


  1. I'm the owner of two rescue dogs, myself. Both of my dogs have a story to tell, if only they could talk.

    I just wanted to point out that you have something of an animal theme going on here at DOG-ear Diary. ;-)

  2. Very astute, James! Yes, I'm always fond of reading animal books. Kind of led me to pick that blog title.

  3. What a swett story. I'm actually kind of glad he wrote it before he had done much work as a therapy dog. That way I know he lives through the end.


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