There was something about Oogy that made him special. Perhaps it was the missing ear, or the asymmetrical face, or the hapless look of a rescued pup who not long before had been used as bait for pit bull warriors. Whatever the qualities, it convinced Larry Levin and his twin sons to adopt this hapless, ugly pooch and make him part of their household. A heart-tugging saga for anyone who can't resist the plaintive, upturned eyes.This isn't only a story about Oogy who was adopted by a loving family, but also about the story of their adoptive twins as well. Larry Levin weaves a tale that pulls together the stories of how his sons and eventually Oogy came into his life. In fact this book seems to me to be more of a love letter to his family and Oogy even more than a story.
Now, I do have one major criticism. One, I think is clear to Larry Levin, himself, and seems evident in the book. Oogy has had very little training. It seems as though when some sort of training was implemented, Mr. Levin would make the excuse that it was upsetting Oogy in some way and with his past, didn't need more pain in his life. I find this contrary to his insistance on keeping an invisible fence to keep Oogy on the property. It has upset Oogy to the point that he has had some behavioral resistance to the collar and the boundary area. And as I do understand not wanting to impose too much on a dog that has gone through literal hell, I do not agree that positive training would do that to a dog. In fact, it is often the opposite effect. A dog who has well defined boundaries is a more confident dog. It's not unlike children. When they have those boundaries, they know there is safety there. They know that what is good and bad behavior. What is helpful to the family and detrimental.
Now that this is off my chest, I can say that I am glad that Mr. Levin has written this book. It shows another side of dogos and pit bulls (both fighting breeds) that the public at large does not often get to see. And if you have spent any time here at the blog, you know I'm against BSL (breed specific laws). This is one reason why. Within BSL, this family would have had to give up Oogy for no reason other than he was a fighting breed. He had no bite record and even his vet would attest that this dog would not bite a human. Even so, through BSL, it wouldn't matter. Only thing that would matter is that he was a fighting breed of dog.
I give this book 3 stars. It's more of an example of a great dog than a story. However, it is an example worth reading. I also liked it because there was a lot there that reminded me of the 1/2 pit bull that came into my life when I was a kid. He was also a sweetheart who's biggest problem is that there wasn't enough puppies and kittens around him at all times.
I was given this book by Hachette and no compensation for my review was given.
Read up to date statuses about Oogy at his Facebook page.
More positive information on Pit Bulls and BSL:
Bad Rap Blog
Pinups for Pitbulls