Philly has no shortage of famous pets…but few have endured as much and inspired as many as our very own Oogy. We had the pleasure of meeting Oogy at the L’Oreal Your Dog is Worth It Too event in August. Amazingly, his deformity wasn’t the first thing I noticed about Oogy… no, I was immediately struck by just how sweet this ‘gentle giant’ is – especially in the midst of all the distractions that are common at such a large event. Yes, it was obvious, this was one special guy.
If you are unfamiliar with Oogy’s story, he was used as bait for fighting dogs when he was barely four months old. He had much of the left side of face including the ear torn away, his cheekbone shattered, and part of his jaw broken off. Left to die, he was found by police during a drug raid and taken to Ardmore Animal Hospital just outside Philly. There, after hours of surgery that saved him, he began to thrive.
As fate would have it Larry Levin and family were at the same animal hospital with their ailing cat who was being put to sleep. As the family was preparing to leave the hospital that day, in came a newly stitched Oogy, ready for a walk. The family instantly fell in love with the dog, brought him home and the rest, as they say, is history.
As the subject of Levin’s New York Times Bestselling book and an appearance on Oprah, Oogy has reached the canine equivalent of Rock Star status. His Facebook page boasts over 20,000 fans who write him about how his story has moved them to tears. Yet Oogy hasn’t let any of this go to his beautiful yet slightly irregular shaped head…he’s a dog who’s happiest when hanging with his humans.
According to Levin, he hasn’t let all this hero worship go to his head either. As he explains it-he was just at the right place at the right time, “I’ve come to believe that there are a lot more people doing great things for animals. One animal at a time. This is nothing unique.”
Yes, that may be true…but we’re still happy he was there to do it for Oogy.
Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love By Larry Levin. A story of adoption and rescue on many levels, Oogy also examines how Oogy’s loving, joyful spirit and quiet dignity continues to inspire everyone he meets. Published in October 2010 to high praise, Oogy spent ten weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Oogy makes frequent appearances to benefit rescues and shelters.