Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sad News: Oogy Passes Away

Oogy, the dog who changed the world, passed away last week

The Three Twins (Dan and Noah in the background) (photo credit: Sue Brown)

Oogy, the dog that nobody wanted, became the dog only a family could love, and through his story, became a dog the whole world loved!

I was fortunate enough to be able to meet Oogy, his human Larry, and the other members of the Three Twins – human brothers Dan and Noah – after I reviewed Oogy’s book: Oogy, The Dog Only a Family Could Love.

In a nutshell, Oogy started life as a bait puppy outside Philly, was adopted by the Levin family and became a ‘third twin.’ He also met Oprah and had a long, successful career as a canine ambassador.

In memory of Oogy, below is my review of his book.

Read More About It: Everywhere on Facebook, including this page.

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love, by Larry Levin, $19.99, 2010, 226 pages, Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group

The good, the bad, the ugly - and Oogy, the inspirational.

Oogy’s story is a love story between a man and a dog, between a family and an ecstatically happy pup that nobody wanted but the world grew to love, the pup who chose the lucky Levins to be his family. You will keep his tale in your heart and it may just change you forever: I simply can’t get this book out of my mind.

Love wrapped up in one unforgettable dog named Oogy. Oogy was a bait puppy by the age of eight weeks with half his face and one ear gone when he was found and brought to the veterinary hospital – their efforts were, in the truest sense, simply the right thing to do. “He seemed to understand somehow that the people around him now were different from those who had controlled his life before: that they were kind even though he had probably never before experienced human kindness.” 

“Oogy is tangible living proof that there can be happiness, love and hope on the flip side of unspeakable and unimaginable horror.” 

“When people first encounter Oogy, they invariably ask if he is safe. My stock response is, 'Well, he has licked two people nearly to death. . . .'”

The title hooked me, and the cover, a visual oxymoron, reeled me in – I just had to read Oogy and I am not disappointed. I started it one night and finished it the next day - the sign of not merely a good book but of a great book and a supergood read. And what makes this book great? Magic. The magic of a great tale well told.

I usually read with a highlighter in hand and use it every few pages but with Oogy, I highlighted every few sentences. And to a first-time author and long-time lawyer, that is the most heartfelt compliment I can muster.

The indomitable spirit of this pup will have you smiling through tears. An ambassador for his breed (a pit bull type – actually a Dogo Argentino but also the mushiest dog I have come across in a book).

Like To Kill a Mockingbird (by Harper Lee, 1960, Pulitzer Prize), Oogy was written by a first-time author (a lawyer). I can’t imagine a sequel topping this book but I CAN picture a movie and a poster and a stuffed puppy.

Levin has given his readers two gifts - the extraordinary, amazing you-are-there reading experience and the real-life survival story of a lop-sided Oogy-doggy with a permanent smile. I await your  next book, Mr. Levin, but I don't believe you can surpass the magic of Oogy

A book of warm hope fulfilled. Candid family photographs with the twin boys and Oogy, the third twin – the one who taught himself how to open the refrigerator!

Levin made a personal promise to the pup that he would never be hungry or scared again. And Levin felt privileged to live up to that. The family felt honored to have been chosen by Oogy and I feel honored to be able to share his story with you. I love you, Oogy, ‘like there’s no tomorrow.’

This is a book I wanted to be part of, a family I wanted to be a member of, a dog I wanted to meet (so I did).  How many ways can I say that this is simply the best book I have read all year, perhaps ever?! Oprah loves Oogy – so do I, and so will you!
PS – did you notice the second “o” in Oogy’s name on the cover – slanted, lopsided - just like Oogy’s face!

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