Thursday, December 9, 2010


I read a book last week. It made me cry. How do you look at a face like Oogy's and not want to immediately hug and love it and try with all your might to erase any bad that the poor fella had ever encountered?  That was my immediate reaction to seeing the book.  Once I read it, my feelings were confirmed and my heart was filled with happiness that Oogy found the Levins, who were 100% worthy of his love and affection and who reciprocated it threefold. 

When I first saw this book, I immediately thought of my little brother.  Not because he is a dog, but because when he was one year old he got a severe ear infection. The doctor treated him for an allergy to milk.  By the time he was two years old, the entire side of his face was dead.  It sagged down.  By the time he was six, he had the last of four surgical procedures, where the doctors took a piece of muscle 10 inches long from his thigh and made a sling that connected at his temple and then went down the middle of his cheek and split to go over and under his mouth in an an attempt to get some working muscle in his face.  Before the surgery, he could not close his mouth completely resulting in drinks and food spilling out the side.  His eye also did not stay closed so a gold weight was put into his eyelid in order to keep it closed while he was sleeping. My brother's face still looks like Oogy's. His right side has grown to that of an adult.  The left side not so much.  His bones have grown, but his skin, eye and mouth did not keep up. It doesn't matter to us. We, like the Levins, see past the scars and disfigurement to the unadulterated love that is underneath.

Oogy's story is one of rescue and love.  Used as bait when he was mere weeks old to train  a Pit Bull for fighting, Oogy was ultimately left for dead by his abusers.  Found by authorities during a drug raid, police officers transported Oogy to an emergency veterinarian's office where his wounds were cleaned and bandaged.  The next morning the officer manager saw Oogy and realized he was special and needed more care than he had received.  It was estimated Oogy had been left to die for approximately a week before being found.  He was severely malnourished. The office manager convinced her boss to spend many hours in surgery repairing what could be fixed.  Upon initial examination, even the Vet knew Oogy was special.  He did not wince in pain, although he must have been in severe pain.  He had a great disposition and a love in his eyes.  Several surgeries later, Oogy finally began to heal and gain weight and was fostered in order to be eventually adopted.

Only through the heartbreak of losing one pet did the Levins stumble upon Oogy. Or should I say, Oogy charged the Levin twin boys and showered them with kisses.  Oogy chose them.  Upon convincing his wife that this damaged Pit Bull needed their love and home, Oogy was officially adopted and this book is the story of his life. Oogy it turns out is not a Pit Bull at all.  Half his life, he was prejudiced against because of his looks.  This is the story of overcoming bad things and not allowing them to define who or what you are.  I can relate to this story on a personal level.  With regard to my brother and with my own life.

If you love animals, you will fall in love with Oogy too.  And he even has a Facebook page!

I bought this book for my own personal enjoyment.  This review was not compensated or solicited in any way.
Photo from Oogy's Facebook page.


Jen said...

Been hearing a lot about this one in all of the dog magazines I subscribe to, but your review is the most interesting, descriptive and makes me want to read it!

P.S., if you haven't yet, Merle's Door and A Dog's Purpose should be on your "to read" list.

Stella Dean said...

Jen - I will check them out. I'm getting You had me at Woof for Christmas. The face on the cover grabbed me, especially since my Bella is a Boston Terrorist. Most people don't see a smashed face and big eyes and automatically say "Oh how cute, I need one."

Jen said...

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about that one, too.

LOL at "Boston Terrorist", I used to call my grandma's Boston terrier that. She was NEVER still, quiet, or cute.