Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: Oogy by Larry Levin

As a self-proclaimed animal lover (obviously!!) and book worm, when I saw Oogy on the shelf at the bookstore, I snatched it up right away. It had been on my "to-read" list for quite some time and I was happy to finally have a copy to peruse!

When Larry Levin, a Philadelphia-area lawyer, walked into his veterinarian's office with his sick cat, the last thing he expected was to find his new best friend.

At just a few months of age, a tiny white puppy with a horrible past soon became the light of the Levin family's life. Oogy, as he became known, began his life as part of a dog fighting ring. He was used as a bait dog -- the dog fighters literally turned their dogs loose on him for "practice" -- and he was left with some very horrific injuries to his face. While others may have given up on him, Oogy was fortunate to end up in a veterinarian's office who decided to give him a chance at a better life. Odds continued to sway in Oogy's favor when Levin and his family decided to bring him home.He may have only half of a face, but the Levin family and all who meet Oogy soon find that he has a very full heart and nothing but love to give.

Oogy now serves as an ambassador for rescue and clearly demonstrates the evils of the dog fighting world. Interestingly, Oogy is not a pit bull -- the breed of dog most often associated with dog fighting. Instead, Oogy has been identified as a Dogo Argentino, another breed whose strength and lineage is often exploited. Although at eleven years of age, he's slowing down a bit, Oogy still makes appearances at events and fundraisers throughout the Philadelphia area. Perhaps you'll even run into him someday... I know I'd love to get the chance to meet Mr. Oogy himself!

Although I didn't love the writing style of this book (a little too much detail on mundane things for my preference), I did love the story and couldn't stop turning the pages. It was a quick and easy read and although some parts are a little difficult to read, emotionally, I think it would be appropriate for teenagers on up. Oogy's story is one of hope, love and determination. His transformation is a testament of the power of kindness, love and good, old-fashioned TLC. I think that anyone who loves stories about dogs, stories about animals, or just all-around, feel-good stories will enjoy this book. The holidays are coming -- why not consider picking up a copy for someone special on your list? Or, maybe even yourself!
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