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New book tells the story of Oogy, rescued bait dog with an inspiring tale

Oogy A family's relationship with a rescued "bait dog" that recovered from horrific injuries to become their much-loved pet is the subject of a new book, "Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love." Our colleague Rene Lynch reviewed "Oogy" recently on The Times' books blog, Jacket Copy.

Oogy was found, badly mauled, abandoned outside Philadelphia when he was just a puppy. He was nearly euthanized due to the severity of his injuries -- which included a smashed jaw, a large open wound on his head and the loss of one of his ears -- but the staff at a veterinary hospital decided to try to save him.

After extensive surgery and rehabilitation, Oogy was deemed ready for adoption and eventually went to live with the Levin family -- father Larry, the book's author, his wife and their twin boys. Oogy, initially thought to be a pit bull, was later discovered to be a Dogo Argentino, a breed known to its fans for its devotion to its family.

The Levins decided to train Oogy to become a therapy dog, with a focus on working with those who have been wounded and disfigured. "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.... That no matter what has been inflicted upon them, love and dignity are attainable," Levin writes.

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-- Lindsay Barnett

 
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I met Oogy, Larry Levin, and his lovely wife in Philadelphia last November at a book signing. Oogy is a tremendous inspiration to the power of love; he strolled the bookstore planting licks on the faces of children and allowed all to pet him. Kudos to the Levins and the animal hospital staff who saved him. A must read for all animal lovers...if only people were 1/2 as good and loving as dogs...sigh...one can only dream...


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