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Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  8,432 ratings  ·  1,043 reviews
Now in paperback, the New York Times-bestselling story of a puppy brought back from the brink of death, and the family he adopted.

In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published October 12th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kim
I really wanted to love this book--it had all the traits of a tearjerker--abused puppy left for dead by dog fighters, rescued by a kind hearted veterinarian's assistant, adopted by family, and is the most loving dog despite the past abuse. And the story is quite touching. However, I couldn't get past how it was written, too many needless details. It was like the author read a "how to write a memoir" book and threw in all the techniques--start with foreshadowing, then rewind and tell the story, i...more
Erin
****ing pet stories! Even when they don't die from old age at the end, they still make me cry! Oogy was no different. This story was so sweet you could rot your teeth out but no matter--I was still sucked in by the story of Oogy. Oogy was abandoned after being a bait dog for dog fighting at 2 months old. Bleeding and injured for 5 days, he was brought to an ER vet and thought to be a goner. But the doc knew he was special and wouldn't let him die, and some time after recovery, he was discovered...more
Fiona
Sweet story, but not a great book.

Author spends way too much time in the first half of the book talking in far too great detail about things other than the dog on the cover. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind hearing about the author's children a bit, but it quickly got tedious and dull. I really don't read books about dogs to find out how you put a child's car-seat in your vehicle.
Also, I get what the author was going for with the first chapter, showing his morning routine with Oogy and his fam...more
Eva Leger
What if every person carried with them a tiny piece of what makes Levin (and his family) so great? A tiny piece. Would that be so hard? Imagine the difference that would make for the animals in this country. In the world.

I finished this last night and I hope I get to meet Oogy someday. I'd get in my car and drive to the Levin's today if presented with the chance. He truly is remarkable. Oogy's story may be one of the rare ones but people should be aware there are others. If not in exactly the s...more
Luis
Lufu, the Old English word for love, is why Larry Levin chose "Oogy" when the badly disfigured pit bull puppy jumped into his own adopted boys' laps and lives. Levin's lufu is profound and we are all so much better off because of Oogy.
Mary (BookHounds)
Oogy is such a heartwarming tale. I have never heard of the breed, Dogos, before reading this book and the author did such a nice job of making this dog jump off the pages. The story begins with the adoption of twin boys, the death of a beloved cat and finding the love of Levin family's life in the form of an abused dog. I have read many stories about dog fighting but didn't really know much about the use of "bait dogs" since I would guess the majority of them don't survive. Oogy is a very speci...more
Becca T.
Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin was not what I expected it to be like. I expected a fast paced story of a dog who was abused then adopted into a loving family. I'm not saying that the dog wasn't adopted and cared for by a loving family, I'm saying that the way it was written made me want to set it down and read another book.
Oogy is a story about a young dog who was used as a fighting dog. He was the bait, the beginning of the fight. He was hurt severly and left to die. He w...more
Amy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison Mccandless
I hated this book. There was no story, nothing interesting. Just a jumbled mess of fond memories of people telling this guy how special his dog is. The most interesting part of this book was the beginning when the author tells you what happened to Oogy and how they came to adopt him. But, that only took a few pages to tell. The rest is just painful to get through. Let me save you a few hours of your life- Oogy was used as a bait dog in a dogfighting ring. Amazingly he survived the ordeal, the po...more
Elaine Musgrave
I LOVED this book and this dog, and the wonderful family who adopted him! Oogy stole my heart and made it ache to hug him. I felt like a part of this family thanks to the very descriptive writing of Mr. Levin. The story is an easy read, I finished it in one day, but a story that will stay with me forever. I can't imagine this book not having a positive affect on anyone who reads it!
Dawn
This is a very touching book about a dog who survived horrific abuse. It is a story about a family who took this wonderful boy into their lives and the result was unconditional love! Animal lovers will relate to this families journey with their boy through the ups and downs. Oogy is a special dog and deserved this family every bit as much as they deserved him. I cried throught this book and thanked God that these people took him in and gave Oogy the love he deserved. Unfortunately, it also bring...more
Laura P.
I enjoyed this book for reminding me that love does not always come in the package that you expect it too. Oogy was most likely used as a bait dog for dogfighting and it is a testament to his spirit that he remained friendly and amiable despite the pain he must have endured. The Levin family has a lot of heart for adopting him even though they knew of the medical difficulties they could face. Sometimes the writing style was a little too matter of fact for my taste. There was a lot of description...more
Rachel
Oogy was a really sweet story and IS a really sweet dog. I am so glad he found a home where he will be loved and accepted. The ending really made me cry. It is such a small world! I don't know if I would have been able to stand there and let him walk away after knowig that man did that to my dog. I would have wanted to make his face look the same. Then again, that would make me no better of a person than him. Grrr.

Even though I loved Oogy's story, I was not in love with the storyteller. Levin's...more
Michael
Full Disclosure: My good friends at Hachette Book Group provided me with a review copy of this book, upon my request. Special thanks go to Valerie Russo, for facilitating the procurement of this book.

Household pets are amazing. They're resilient, they're cuddly, and they're capable of things that even you wouldn't understand. (For the life of me, I don't know why my kittens nibble on the edges of books, outside of my theory that they are indeed trying to read them.) The language barrier between...more
Lori
As I have long stated, I am a sucker for animal stories. I love animals and hearing any type of tale of animal cruelty will have me crushed for days on end. Very few things in life absolutely confound me and leave me utterly without an answer and viciousness toward pets is one of them.

So I picked up Oogy with a bit of hesitation. Seeing that endearing, lopsided face on the cover put a lump in my throat before I even read the first sentence. Oogy's eyes are so deep, so intense that he practicall...more
Julianna
Jul 14, 2013 Julianna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Heartwarming Animal Stories
Reviewed for THC Reviews
Oogy is the inspirational, heartwarming story of a dog with an unbreakable spirit and will to live who never lost his loving, gentle demeanor in spite of unconscionable abuse. Before beginning the book, I had no idea why Oogy was disfigured, only that he was adorable anyway. Although the author, Oogy's master, Larry Levin, doesn't know all the details on how Oogy was rescued and brought to the animal hospital where they met, nor exactly what happened to him before that, I...more
Pamela Pickering
3.75 stars.
After a very slow first chapter, I really enjoyed this heartfelt homage to Oogy, a treasured family pet. Oogy was one of the thousands of dogs used for baiting in dog fighting. The author truly has felt a true love for the Oogy and I always wonder why many are unable to understand why certain people are drawn to pets who are injured, sick, or debilitated. I think these people empathize with these animals and wonder, "Would anyone be there for me if I were maimed or sick?" This book p...more
Raven
I started this book and could not put it down. It was given to me as a gift from my secret Santa at work and since she knows just how important my dogs are to me, everything so got for me was for me to share with my puppies.

Oogy is the story of a young dog that by chance is adopted and loved by the one family that probably needed him most. His "dad," Larry Levin, was not able to find out he exact origin, but was able to figure out that Oogy has been used as a bait dog for dog fighting and had mo...more
C.j.
So I pick up this book expecting to feel totally awe inspired. To laugh and to cry while reading this book. Not the case. And for those of you thinking "Oh she hates dogs, shame on her, blah blah". WRONG. I love dogs. I have a resuce pitt of my own. So let me give you an example from the book, "After securing the lid and striking a match, I ignite the gas burner; the blue flame pops up. I wrap four strips of bacon in a paper towel and place them on a plate in the microwave, and then set the time...more
Donna
It took me a long while to read this book. However it was a purely enjoyable venture. Oogie is unlike most dogs, he was used as a bait dog in fights with Pit Bulls. He was rescued by an unbelievable family who helped him to not only heal his insurmountable scars but ensured his emotional rehabilitation. Only this family could help Oogie. Apparently, it came to pass that Oogie was found to be an obscure breed called a Dogo. He reminded of my sweet PeeWee who weighed over 145 lbs. at one point in...more
Cheryl
Thoroughly enjoyed this heart-warming story of not only a dog but a family. Sweet and touching, but not overly so, I'd tend to call it more a tribute to the power of second chances when one's heart is open. I can relate on so many levels, from being an adopted parent to having been priviledges to live with a remarkable and unforgettable dog.

Kudos not only to Oogy's family but also to Diane Klein, Dr. James Bianco and the staff of the Ardmore Animal Hospital who clearly went beyond and still do....more
Andrea Guy
This is the kind of animal book I love to read, the kind where the animal is still alive at the end. Oogy is a dog that anyone can't help but love and his owner really shows that love as he shares his story of his family and how they came to welcome a poor abused Dogo pup into their lives.

Sure this story is about Oogy, but it was also about Larry, Jennifer, Dan and Noah. The type of people they were helped shape Oogy's life, just as he helped shape theirs. Larry shares Oogy's life story with the...more
Joanne
I am almost done and I love this book. I fell in love with Oogy and his adopted family. This story reflects the worst of human behaviour and the best. Oogy was a very young dog only months old that was used as bait in dogfighting. Close to death and very mutilated he was brought to an animal hospital by police. If it hadn't been for a kind, caring administrator there Oogy would have been euthanized. In spite of all his injuries and his horrific past he was an extremely lovable tail wagging pup,...more
Wendy Buell
Of course I wanted to love this book. I LOVE this family (site unseen and not knowing them at all) for adopting this "ugly" mutilated dog and giving him a chance. Many people's ignorant fears of the "pit bull" would have them fleeing from the most beautifully cared for pit bulls, never mind an abused one left to die with much of it's face and head destroyed.

The book bored me. Overly detailed and sweet, not particularly well written and quite tedious. The family however are lovely, kind, caring....more
Elesha
I. Thought this book was absolutely amazing. When I first learned about Oogy I totally fell in love with him and I was also saddened at what had happened to him. When I read this book it made me even love him even more. While I read this book I was angry, I cried, I was sad, I laughed, and I awwed. Oogy is definitely no ordinary dog, he is without a doubt the most bravest and kindest dog I have ever heard about. Its like he's almost human , and even more braver then any human being could be. I w...more
Lori
a very sweet book about a sweet dog named Oogy. it is heartbreaking to read about Oogy's horrible start in life. this precious innocent dog was used as a "bait" for dog fights. at only a few months old he was rescued barely clinging to life. he was severely injured. his one ear ripped off and one side of his face mangled so badly it required many surgeries over a few years to help him to heal. yet that side of the face will always be deformed. in spite of his horrific beginning this sweet puppy...more
Sue-isb Y
Oogy by Larry Levin based on a true story with a family and a dog named 'Oogy'. The book mainly talks about Oogy and the family who took him home. The main character, Oogy was used as a bait dog for dog fighting and as a result, he is missing an ear and half of his face was covered in scar tissue. Not only he got injured physically but also he got injured mentally. The book describes how one family changes its life by raising a pet. Despite his pain and hurt from people, his true love to the fam...more
Jessica Guglielmo
As an animal lover and doggy-momma to two American Staffordshire Terriers, the story of Oogy was destined for my bookshelf the moment I heard about it.
The story tells of the journey of a young dogo argentino pup. One of the breeds commonly referred to as "pit bulls," dogos are strong, loving, loyal, intelligent, and unfortunately, often abused and misunderstood. Although exactly where Oogy came from is unclear, he is horribly injured when he arrives at the animal hospital, and the consensus is t...more
Brenda
I am an animal lover to the core, and when I saw the cover for this book I knew I would be hooked before I ever read the first sentence. How could you not fall in love with the the face of Oogy, his missing ear and lopsided face, along with those eyes, the saying that eyes are the windows to the soul couldn't be more apropos for this dog.
Oogy's story is a story of survival, an inspirational look at a dog and the family that is fortunate enough to be blessed with such an amazing dog. Oogy was use...more
Vera
When Larry Levin and his adopted twin sons, Noah and Dan, went to a local vet hospital with an ill cat, they did not expect to return with another pet, much less one nearly torn apart by a fighting dog. But when Oogy rushed through the doors and into their arms, he claimed them as his family and there was no turning back.

Initially thought to be a pit bull, Oogy was just a puppy when he was used as bait for another dog. Half of his face was torn away, and he was left bleeding and mangled in a cag...more
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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.
More about Larry Levin...
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“It has always been my belief that a pet owner has a special responsibility to do everything that can be done to make the pet's life as fulfilling and peaceful as possible.” 18 likes
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