A Story of Inspiration


His ribs were clearly visible, his breath was shallow, he had punctured infected wounds on one side of his skull, an ear was missing, and so was half of his face. This was the result of being a bait dog. A bait dog is used to help train fighter dogs how to fight and kill their opponent. Oogy was found during a raid on a house suspected of drug activity. From his personality, you would never be able to tell that he came from the horrible conditions that he did. His face tells a different story though. 

I came across “Oogy: the dog only a family could love” by Larry Levin when I was browsing through my local bookstore. The animal lover in me, as well as the pitbull advocate, immediately forced my hand to grab the book and throw my money at the closest bookstore employee. As I read through the pages I realized the book wasn’t so much an advocacy book, as I had originally thought. It was a book about the act of kindness, the selflessness of adoption, and the power of love. 

Oogy “picked” his owners; it was not the other way around. Levin’s family was in the vet’s office, having to put their cat to sleep due to old age, when Oogy came barreling out of the door and rammed into the closest family member he could get to. The love was instantaneous. 

To the Levin’s, Oogy was a dog who needed a home; the thought that he may have behavior or physical issues due to his past never crossed their mind. “We met and fell completely and instantaneously in love with a dog who had had unimaginable horror inflicted upon him…And in our naïveté, we did not know that we might not be able to do what we did; that the odds were very much against allowing us to take an abused fighting dog and help him unlock the love in his heart for all living creatures”. Oogy has never met a person, or animal, that he has disliked. 

Overall, this book was a good read just for the hope it shined. Wayside see’s its fair share of horrible cases and has to deal with the end result of an animal being mistreated. Although we are very fortunate to have the resources to save most of these animals, there are some that are not within our reach. It’s nice to read a story that reminds me of why I invest my time and passion into my profession; to save the lives of animals and give them a life worth living. Books like this remind me of Waysides success stories: Chance, the boxer mix who came to us with a hunting arrow sticking out of his leg and his leg had to be amputated is now in a wonderful home; Squeakers, the little kitten who won over the heart of a staff member who refused to give up hope, put together a fundraiser for his medical issues, and placed him in a wonderful home; And of course, my personal favorite, Hot Pocket, the pit-bull mix who I thought would never get over all of her medical conditions is now thriving at 55lbs in her new home. 

If Oogy can teach us one thing it’s the act of forgiveness and perseverance. He overcame overwhelming obstacles and is able to run around with other dogs at the park and live life to the fullest. He loves with abandonment and trusts his people beyond measure. Like most dogs, he is loyal to his family. Even though his face tells a different story, he is finally in a home that loves and cares for him and will never allow harm to come near him again.

Written By Alyssa Willet
Adoptions Supervisor at Wayside Waifs


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