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Levin's "Oogy"

June 8, 2012 - Jodelle Greiner
I like dogs, so when I saw the book “Oogy” and the picture of the white dog on the front, I was interested. Then I read the synopsis and I really wanted to read the book, but at the same time, I was afraid to.

Oogy was still a puppy when Larry Levin and his twin sons, Noah and Dan, met him in the animal hospital. Within seconds, Levin and the boys decided they wanted to take the white puppy home. Convincing wife and mom Jennifer it was a good idea was the least of their worries.

The puppy they named Oogy had come to the animal hospital after being used as bait for dog fighting. Oogy’s head had been badly torn up — Levin at first thought he’d been burned and Oogy was missing his left ear— and he nearly died from his injuries.

In spite of Oogy’s less than pretty appearance and history, the Levins still wanted him. They were told Oogy was about 4 months old, a pit bull and would top out at 50 to 55 pounds. There were worries, especially on Jennifer’s part, that Oogy would be aggressive. None of that proved to be true.

Levin tells of the different reactions they have gotten from people — both good and fearfully misinformed — and the lessons the family has learned. Some parts of the book may be difficult for some because he does talk about dog fighting and describes in detail the surgeries Oogy has had. But for the most part, this is a book about a dog and his family.

There’s no way to tell Oogy’s story without telling that of the boys. Oogy earned the nickname “The Third Twin” and he’s been a way for Levin to teach his kids values from caring for Oogy’s special needs and to learn more about what his sons think of their adoption.

Everyone thinking about owning a dog should read this book because Levin does a good job of describing what it’s like to have a dog in the house. Levin and his family made a commitment to keep Oogy for life, no matter what, and they have gone to some lengths to make that happen. Oogy has special needs — he’s had several surgeries, some for his puppyhood injuries and some not — but he is also “Everydog” and the perfect example of the work and joy that comes with having pets.


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