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Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love Hardcover – October 12, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 552 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Among the picks of the litter."―People

"In simple, touching prose, Levin relates the details of Oogy's rescue, his entry into their family, and the joy he continues to spread . . . Highly recommended for anyone (that's all of us) in need of inspiration."―Library Journal

"Among the many pet tales currently on bookstore shelves, this is the pick of the litter. . . Levin knits Oogy's story together with the stories of the many people involved in the dog's miraculous rescue and recovery. This is a cozy tale you'll want to curl up with and maybe wag once or twice."―Lincoln Journal Star (Nebraska)

"Heartwarming. . . . As remarkable in spirit as he is distinctive in appearance, the extraordinary Oogy receives a hero's biography from adoring Levin."―Publishers Weekly

"Oogy, the disfigured puppy rescued from a dog-fighting operation, has a story that's hard not to love. . . a compelling story that highlights the plight of dogs victimized by dog-fighting operations . . . a joy to read."―The Roanoke Times

"Oogy's story confirms what Dewey taught me years ago...that even a wounded animal tossed aside is capable of amazing joy if given love and respect by the human chosen to share life with them."―Vicki Myron, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

"An incredible story about an unforgettable dog. Get ready to make a very big place in your heart for OOGY. Because you're going to fall in love with this dog. And, this book."―Gary David Goldberg, creator of Family Ties and Brooklyn Bridge and author of Sit, Ubu, Sit

"What happens when one dog is used as bait to inspire another dog to kill? Nothing anyone with a conscience wants to imagine but it happened to Oogy, the puppy torn apart and left to die before being discovered by the police. This is a story about what can happen when the worst in people meets the best in people and the best wins. In spite of its subject, this is a gentle tale of one man's love for his dog and the angels along the way who brought Oogy into his life."―-Susan Richards, New York Times-bestselling author of Chosen by a Horse and Saddled

"At its heart, OOGY is a love story between a kind and generous man and an astonishing dog, reassuring in its affirmation that all the seemingly random pieces of life somehow belong together. This book is well worth spending time with."―Mary Nethery, co-author of the New York Times-bestselling Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

"The story of Oogy proves that the human-canine bond doesn't depend on outward beauty. Oogy's love for the Levins, and theirs for him, will touch the heart of anyone who reads his story."―-Sharon Sakson, author of Paws & Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs

About the Author

Larry Levin and his family live in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. He is an attorney in solo practice. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for twenty-six years. Their sons, Noah and Dan, are eighteen. Oogy is eight.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446546313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446546317
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (552 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rushmore VINE VOICE on August 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was hooked by the picture of Oogy on the cover. The story did not disappoint.

This is a noble dog, an inspirational dog. (As someone says to the author, "When was the last time you heard of a fighting dog who was inspirational?" I don't have the quote exactly right, but it's just what I was thinking while reading.) Oogy had a horrendous history - he was literally a throw-away dog when Larry Levin and his sons first met him. Somehow Oogy's spirit and love for all creatures survived an unthinkable ordeal and shone through to all who met him, even when he was close to death and in incredible pain. This is an amazing animal, and the narrative works best when Larry Levin makes the story about Oogy. Of course it is also about a family, but it is mostly about this amazing dog.

True animal lovers - vets, rescuers - recognize the special nature of this animal. People seeing him on the street are initially put off by his appearance but quickly won over by his personality.

The writing style is straightforward which works well with the compelling and emotional nature of the story. I cried early and often. It is a quick read but it will stay with me for a long, long time.

Minor quibble: it seemed that the author was way too hard on himself every time Oogy suffered some pain, and obsessed with making it up to Oogy for the unthinkable experiences of his early life. Mr. Levin is apparently an attorney with a very flexible schedule that allows him to spend a lot of time at home, and his bonding with Oogy is so complete that he occasionally seems to lose perspective.

Another quibble is the title. Everybody loves Oogy. That's the whole point.

I think the story works so well because this is basically a normal family whose lives are touched by an extraordinary dog. Oogy is the miracle. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am so in love with Oogy after reading this book, I feel like he's MY dog, rather than the Levin's family member! After being used as a bait dog in a dog fighting ring outside Philadelphia, this sweet, loving, and near-death dog arrived at an animal hospital and basically began the fight for his life.

Larry Levin and his young twin sons went to the animal hospital for a difficult reason as well, being forced to put their elderly cat to sleep. As they were leaving Oogy had wriggled out of his cage and tackled one of the boys to the ground, covering the boy with kisses despite the painful injuries he was still suffering from. The Levins knew they had found a new family member!

Bringing Oogy home was not easy, as the poor pup was missing an ear and had a face full of scar tissue that required a lot of care, but the boys and their father were determined to make him fit into their family. What started as a tragedy became a beautiful ending, with a loyal, friendly, and happy dog taking the place of the beaten puppy that first arrived at that animal shelter.

If the sweet face on the cover doesn't first draw you in, the first few pages certainly will. Author Levin writes in a to-the-point, readable manner that will have you finishing the book in no time. I read it in one morning on the train to work! You'll want to keep turning the pages, as this little dog puts a huge smile on your face and inspires you to want to help other animals like him.

I have also rescued a dog that was deemed a "difficult breed" and have loved every second of being her person. Oogy's story just solidified my belief on rescuing dogs. I highly recommend this inspirational read!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am sorely tempted to give the book 5 stars because any story about an abused dog finding a perfect family deserves high praise, but that would be a bit disingenuous on my part, so I give it about a 4.4 rating. I can't say I found the book to be a big tear jerker, books such as Saved: Rescued Animals and the Lives They Transform, Found Dogs: Tales of Strays Who Landed on Their Feet are more the type that get me. This story does not wallow in the cruelness that happened to Oogy when he was a pup, rather it showers you with all the love he found when he was turned over to the animal hospital and then given to the Levins.

The story of Oogy is compelling and I truly think the Levins are wonderful people. The author and his 2 sons basically fell in love with Oogy at first sight. I have to admire someone who can just give in to that feeling with such utter ease, with no doubts and no internal debate about whether it is right or not. He saw Oogy with all his physical faults, but just knew he had to have him regardless. The stars aligned for the Levins that day when their paths crossed with Oogy. Huge kudos also go to the animal hospital and the woman who fought to save him in the first place.

There is a bit of background story about the Levins and their 2 sons, but it is interesting and leads up to Oogy's adoption. I read the book in one day, but in recalling it in my head, the time line gets a little jumbled.
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