Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin
Sometimes you find a book that reflects your own life so much that you just have to get it and read it. That is the case with this book. Oogy was a 10-week-old puppy who was used as a bait dog in dog fighting and then left in an abandoned house to die. They think that approximately a week later police received a tip about recent dog fighting in the house and discovered Oogy lying inside. His ear was ripped off, part of his head was torn away and his jaw was broken. Instead of taking him to the county pound which would result in the puppy being euthanized, the police took him to the Ardmore Animal Hospital. There, a courageous woman who worked for the veterinarian fought to save him and inspired the whole staff of the animal hospital to keep Oogy alive.
This is not just a story completely about Oogy. It is the story of a loving couple, Larry and Jennifer, who adopted two boys. The author and his wife adored being parents. They then adopted a horribly tortured puppy who also brought incredible joy to all of their lives. Although, Oogy had a horrendous beginning, his story is ultimately a celebration in the wonder and power of love. This book is a story about the fact that we must never let tragedy define us.
How does this story reflect my life? Three years ago my oldest son, Stephen, convinced us to adopt a dog, named Frazier, from the SPCA who had been burned badly by someone throwing acid on his back. I ran into two people years later, which helped me to fill in some of the background story on Frazier.
Someone dropped off the badly burned puppy at the Caroline County Pound which is a kill shelter. While he was there, a woman who worked for the Fredericksburg SPCA was made aware of his condition and she fought desperately to move him to the SPCA, which is a no-kill shelter. She finally succeeded in convincing the staff to take on this incredible challenge. The staff treated his back every day, irrigating his wounds and applying fresh medicine. Frazier began to have a following or fan base. People would come to see him every day, even if they couldn’t adopt him themselves.
What his fan base recognized is that Frazier is a really incredible dog. Although he was abused as a puppy, he has the biggest heart of any dog that I have ever encountered. He also seems to be immediately aware if someone is upset or sad and comes over to kiss and snuggle and look adoringly into their eyes. He is so much comfort and joy, I don’t know how we ever got along without him. I will forever be indebted to the people who saved and comforted Frazier until Stephen found him and we could come to bring him home.