Oogy…the dog only a family could love

Posted: October 29, 2012 in Animals, Dogs, Travel
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I’ve become addicted to books on CD while traveling between Cleveland and Naperville (or any other long trip.)  There’s nothing better than a good book to make the time fly and since I can’t safely read while driving, audio will have to do.  On the latest occasion, I picked up Oogy, the dog only a family could love, by Larry Levin.  It’s the story about a dog that was rescued after being used when a puppy as a bait dog  and, rather than killed by either the dog being trained to fight or the owner of the dog as usually happens, was tossed in a cage and left, barely alive.  A bait dog is exactly what it sounds like–a dog that is put as bait with a dog being trained to fight and the fighting dog is then encouraged/made to kill the bait dog.  When police raided the house some days later, Oogy, although horrifically injured, was somehow still clinging to life. 

It was assumed that Oogy, as he become known, was a pit bull.  If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, or read any of the posts in the “Dog” category, you’ll know that we’ve fostered several wonderful rescue pit bulls, so this is what initially caught my attention and made me get the CD (although I thought I’d ordered the book from the library.)  Later it emerged that he was a Dogo, a type of dog bred in Argentina to hunt mountain lion and boar.  The left side of Oogy’s face and most of his left ear had been torn off and part of his lower jaw had been crushed, so much time, effort, money (and much donated surgery) and love went into repairing his face as much as possible.

But if you’re expecting a sad story, you’ll be happily disappointed.  Yes, there is sorrow, but the majority of the story is filled with love, joy, hope, and redemption.  You’d also imagine that a dog so abused would either hate people or be terrified of them.  But somehow Oogy, as with the rescue pit bulls we’ve interacted with, was despite all odds, lively and loving.

The story of Oogy is not the sole story.  The Levins, unable to have children of their own, adopted twin baby boys twelve years before Oogy came into their lives and the boys’ story is intertwined with that of Oogy.  The path of Oogy becoming part of the family wasn’t either easy or simple, but it’s a story that will make you smile, become angry, laugh out loud and yes, probably shed a tear or two.   Read about or listen to the story of Oogy.  You’ll be glad you did.

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