by Larry Levin
I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.
This week’s letter assignment is O in Mrs. Matlock’s class, so I’m sharing Oogy’s story for Alphabe-Thursday~
“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”an affectionate derivative of “ugly”, is a heartwarming tail for dog lovers, or for those who simply enjoy pulling for the underdog.
I’m a sucker for dog stories, especially those with a happy ending, which I’m relieved to report is the case for Oogy despite his rocky beginning. I’m always anxious to know before getting emotionally involved & spending hours in a book if the animals or dogs fare well. This was a quick read and one I enjoyed and began with not a little trepidation.
The sad and ugly truth and facts of dog fighting and ‘bait’ for those fights~ any animal and often cats~ that can be found through ‘free to good home’ ads, strays, kidnapping, etc. is simply too horrific & hard for me to wrap my brain around.I think you’ll find, “the dog only a family could love” is one that you will love too.
Oogy spends his mornings keeping the boys & dad company during their routines of getting ready for school & making breakfast. He eats his kibble while the twins enjoy their breakfast of pancakes. . .
“He continued to heal and then began to flourish. His condition and the cruelty he had endured produced a heartfelt, deeply caring reaction among the hospital staff. His happy, affectionate nature was seemingly more pronounced because of the horror he had undergone.”
“The fact that a brutalized, mutilated pup had so immediately and so completely reposed his trust in us made all of us feel that we had been rewarded. He was one of us.”
Besides Pancakes, Food for Thought was plentiful, although not in the traditional sense. . .
“In his first six months with us, in addition to chewing up the futon couch, Oogy gnawed the middle out of the seat cushions of the two camelback sofas in the living room. He bit the eraser off any pencil he could find and would climb onto tables and desks to get at them. The decapitated pencils were left where they had fallen. He at a pair of my glasses. He chewed apart a wooden drawer in the kitchen. He ruined videotapes, countless CDs and CD cases, pens, crayons, and markers. He broke though every screen on every door in the house and scratched the paint off the doors when he wanted to get out. He ate the antennae off every landline telephone in the house and then ate off the replacements.”
My own house has gone to the dogs. . .
“He tore apart insulated galoshes, flip-flops, scarves, sneakers, shoes, plastic fruit, and the head of one of Noah’s lacrosse sticks. He chewed up hard rubber dustpans, flay swatters, and brushes. He ate books, barrettes, and toothbrushes, shredded newspapers, ripped apart magazines, tore chunks out of books.”