Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love (Book Review)

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 dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms, and decided to take him home.

Oogy:  The Dog Only a Family Could Love, from first-time author Larry Levin, tells the story of Oogy and the family that adopted him.  The author details the horrific abuse that Oogy suffered, the extraordinary efforts to save his life, and the abundant love that he now receives and gives.  But as much as Oogy is about a dog, it's also about family:  accepting one another, dealing with challenges, and adjusting to changes.

While I liked the story, the writing style did not appeal to me.  The author's accounts are rich in descriptive language--at times, excessively so.  For example, the book opens with a narrative about a weekday morning.  The alarm goes off on page 1; by the time everyone has eaten breakfast and the boys are off to school, we're on page 14.  The reader knows what each family member wears, eats, and carries out the door.  I appreciate this level of detail in a short piece of writing; however, in a 214-page book, I found it exhausting.  Your opinion may be different, of course.

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Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.  All opinions in this review are my own.


  1. Aaww - I felt so sorry for that dog just looking at the picture. I guess a first time published writer isn't quite as polished as a seasoned writer ;)

  2. Oh boy that would be a little over the top for me too!


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