Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love” as Want to Read:
Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  11,893 ratings  ·  1,397 reviews
In the bestselling tradition of Rescuing Sprite comes the 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 t
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published October 12th 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Oogy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Helga Yes, it will. Those side stories will come together to create good context. Well, at least it did for me. Here's my review, if it may help
Yes, it will. Those side stories will come together to create good context. Well, at least it did for me. Here's my review, if it may help
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronMarley and Me by John GroganWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
Great "Dog" Books
1,087 books — 1,891 voters
Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos MontalvánA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronMarley and Me by John GroganThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
Top Dog Reads
565 books — 618 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,893 ratings  ·  1,397 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
****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
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
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Read a memoir or narrative nonfiction book.

I actually read this months ago but forgot to mark it as read or write a review for it. Which probably says something.

I am a dog lover. I think I've made that clear. I enjoy stories about animals and about their own stories of hope. I myself have a big 95 pound monster that I don't know how I could live without, and thinking of him being hurt is like thinking of my kid being hurt. So I understand why people get crazy about their animals. And this is the
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Chance Lee
Jul 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
I made a shelf for "Yahtzee books": books I use as a solid surface for my Yahtzee score sheet that I read when it isn't my turn. As a Yahtzee book, Oogy is a five stars. A solid book! Bearing down on Oogy, my pencil marks were sharp and clear.

As an actual book, Oogy is Dullsville. It's a happy little story about a rescue dog who lives. There also tons of unnecessary details. Have you ever wondered how long a boring lawyer microwaves his coffee in the morning? Or what his morning routine is? Or
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.
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oogy's story is a dog's ability to rise above human cruelty and still show love, forgiveness and sweetness. His early abuse as fighting dog bait is mercifully brief and can only be guessed at. I liked how the author was open about his family relationships, his twin son's adoption and Oogy's health and behavioral issues. It was a nice change that Oogy was still alive at the end of the book and an afterword shared letters from an affected public. For animal lovers
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
How could you not fall in love with Oogy, even after all that he has been through, he is still such a friendly, happy dog. Maybe not the most well behaved (sleeping on the table, taking food out of the fridge)but I guess he can't be perfect :) and what amazing people everyone involved with his rescue & rehabilitation are. We need more animal loving people like that in the world.

I liked the book (because of Oogy) but I didnt love it, it started very slow. With an extremely detailed telling of th
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!
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animal-books
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
Allison Mccandless
Jun 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
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
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This guy, the one who took Oogy home, deserves the "Best Pet Owner in the World" award. This story made my heart ache. First I thought this was going to be cheesy and it seemed like the dog story was just a gimmick because the author starts off talking about his own life for some time. I kept thinking, "Where's the dog?" It got off to a rough start, but he does get to the dog and Oogy's story is a remarkable one, but it was peppered with such cruel sadness.

I have admiration and respect for thos
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have seen this book on store shelves for two years and at first I could not even look at it then as time passed I picked it up and read the cover. I decided then I will read it someday. Someday came two years later and I found the book at a thrift store and I was shocked, happy that I found it and sad because I found it. I had to buy it and have the courage to read Oogy's story.

Oogy is a very special dog, I had a Chow Chow mix and on February 27, 2010 I had to put her down after three mouth s
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
Laura P.
Jul 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals
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
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
Aug 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dog, review-gr
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.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals
Having once been accused by my daughter of being a person who will "buy any book with a dog on the cover," I have once again proven her to be dangerously close to the truth about her mother. I do buy an unusual number of books with dogs on the cover. (-:

Though I've read a number of doggie "hard luck" stories, Oogy takes the prize for being both the unluckiest dog (used as a "bait dog" for fighting dogs) and the luckiest dog (saved by a combination of medical skill and loving hearts to live a lo
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
While this is a really heartwarming and valuable story, the narrator didn't make me feel fully connected to/engaged in it. Had it been written differently, with less irrelevant details (about things like time spent microwaving stuff), I think the story really would've touched me.

I love Oogy, and this is an OK book, but there is definitely room for improvement.
Oh Oogy!! You poor thing! I hate people who mistreat animals! And I like animals more than people. I randomly selected a book from my Overdrive wishlist and this audiobook was it! The first chapter was kind of meh. I would've rather had a normal chronological story of Eli/Oogy. Instead the first chapter is a day in the life of the Levin household. Like every minute of their whole morning. Was that really necessary? I guess so because it's already a short book with that long first chapter. Oogy's ...more
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Doggie Book Club: Intro 8 18 Feb 29, 2012 11:59AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wallace: The Underdog Who Conquered a Sport, Saved a Marriage, and Championed Pit Bulls-- One Flying Disc at a Time
  • Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog
  • The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
  • Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him
  • Amazing Gracie: A Dog's Tale
  • A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me
  • Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-And-Rescue Dog
  • Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me
  • A Big Little Life:  A Memoir of a Joyful Dog
  • Marley: A Dog Like No Other: A Special Adaptation for Young Readers
  • Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway
  • Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, And 3 RVs On Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure
  • A Good Dog: The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
  • The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me
  • My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir
  • Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life As an Animal Surgeon
See similar books…
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.

Related Articles

Famous people! Are they really just like us? In the case of these individuals, the answer is a resounding yes when it comes to loving book...
78 likes · 37 comments
“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.” 23 likes
More quotes…