Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book #52: LibraryLove December 16, 2010

Oogy by Larry Levin

Book description~ 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 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.

This book is a true-story of a Dogo, mistaken for a Pit Bull. Oogy was a throw-away bait dog used in a horrible street-fighting operation gone wrong. Oogy had been through a horrific ordeal and serendipitously ended up in the loving home of The Levin family. It just seemed the author kept mentioning how important his two adopted twin sons and his wife were yet he barely mentioned them or their role in Oogy’s development at all. For a lot of the book, I thought he would mention that he and his wife were separated or something of the sort because she was mentioned all of three times I believe.

I wanted to like this book. I really wanted to like this book. I did enjoy parts of Oogy and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely ADORE Oogy and the story of him but not Levin’s delivery. I was relieved the book ended happily while Oogy is still frolicking around the dog parks with his family. However, the choppy and overly detailed writing style left much to be desired. The flow of this book was wonky; it felt like an oversized essay.

Oogy’s struggle and his will to survive were amazing. But again, back to Levin’s writing style; I felt like he was going to pull the rug right out from under me because his pacing was off. Thus, I read most of this with a lump in my throat fearing what I’d read next. Again, thankfully Oogy’s story is one of redemption and a second chance and as a fellow-dog lover, owner and rescuer, I felt a connection with Oogy’s story because it paralleled so much of Zumo’s story. Zumo is a dog my husband and I adopted after having fostered him for over a year, helping him rehab from 3 surgeries, a horrific puppyhood in a horrible situation and turned his pain into happiness and contentment with our family. I also took him through obedience training, as Larry did in Oogy. Zumo won our hearts and we couldn’t help ourselves but adopt him so we could finally reap the rewards and happy times as Zumo deserves.

“I return to the family room and turn on both the front and rear sets of lights halfway. This time Oogy lifts his head and looks at me. He is still somewhat distant with sleep, but welcome shines in his eyes like candles. His tail thumps softly against the back of the couch. Smiling, I walk over for him and sit on the arm of the sofa, trace my fingers against the thickness of his neck. I touch the well of power just behind there, high on his back between his shoulders. His strength never ceases to amaze me. It seems almost incompatible with his gentle nature. “

All in all, I’m frustrated to end the year on a book that left much to be desired, although I’m SO thrilled that Oogy is with a loving family and he’s such a happy boy.

“I believe that Oogy will  be able to help those in need to understand that scarring, disfigurement, and trauma, whether physical or emotional, do not have to define who they are.”

3/5 stars

Wow. This is it huh? For 2010 anyway. I’m just glad I was able to successfully complete my first ever New Year’s Resolution and look forward to being able to relax with my reading a bit in 2011.

Stay tuned for our wrap-up review and we’ll share with you our next reading challenge for 2011.


52 books.

52 weeks.


I’m beat.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

See you in 2011…