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Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Rose by Any Other Name....: Oogy by Larry Levin

Happy Saturday, everyone!
The end of October is fast approaching and so is my chance to share with you all the books chosen for their spooktacular features.  (Oh, poo!)  Fear not...whatever doesn't make it in between today and tomorrow will still be shared in the coming days; after all, we don't need an excuse to read spooky fun books, just merely the time and the right mood. 

Today's post features a title that may come as a surprise to you when you are considering seasonal reads; in fact it might seem down right strange.  No worries, I'll explain.  The spooktacular find today is less on the spectacular side and more on the horror side....ANIMAL CRUELTY.  Most of you out there are animal lovers and those that visit my blog often enough know that the same goes for me, but there are some that would rather see these beautiful loving fuzzy (and non-fuzzy) wonders put to much more nefarious uses.  Is it sad?  YES!  Is it true?  Sadly, yes.  In fact one case (among many) that gained quite a bit of media publicity brought these heinous acts into the limelight and raised a good bit of awareness nationwide, but if it stops at awareness there won't ever be an end to these unfortunate and unnecessary tragedies.  A small warning to those that are easily affected by animal cruelty (including myself)...the story has a sad beginning, but it is just that, a beginning.  It does not reflect the majority of the book's content nor the ending so take heart, it gets better.  Today's book of choice is....

The Dog Only a Family Could Love

When one door closes, another door opens...or so the saying goes.  In 2002, one family saw this first hand in a most unexpected way.  The passing of a pet, whether expected due to age or ailment or not, is an unsettling event to say the very least and the thought of bringing a new fuzzy friend into the fold any time soon is hard to digest.  You don't want to feel like you are stepping on the memory of the one that came before plus there is a grieving period for most families, but sometimes circumstances present themselves that demand your attention and immediate action.  In the case of the Levin family, their beloved cat had just passed away and unbeknown to them someone new was about to come into their lives; someone that needed them as much as they needed him, whether anyone knew it yet or not.  This is the story of Oogy.

Reports of fighting dogs are more common than not in today's world.  A sad truth, but still a fact to be known.  One look at sweet Oogy and you're probably thinking he was one of these fighting dogs, right?  Wrong.  He wasn't a fighting dog in the least; in fact his very nature goes against everything the criminals involved in these acts of violence look for in a fighter.  No, Oogy's treatment was far worse.  Since he wasn't a fighter, they use him as bait.  Now I won't go into what occurs in these types of situations (you can look it up if you like, too violent to go into here), but rest assured it's not a pretty picture nor something that most survive.  Oogy on the other hand....DID.

This is the touching tale of what love and trust can really do even against odds that seem insurmountable...Oogy's story is one that is certain to touch the hearts and minds of readers and pet lovers round the world. How can you resist his adorable presence? I mean really, for all the tragedy that this dog has seen, he has one of the most open and welcoming faces that I've seen among dogs.  You would think he would be mean, afraid of people and the world at large, but he's not...a lesson in forgiveness we (humans in general) could surely stand to learn from.  Combine that with his affectionate nature and you have a dog that any number of people would be glad to call their own...I know I would and after reading this book, I do in some ways as will all those that venture to read this tale.

The only drawback for me was that the book lapsed into what felt like filler at times (detailing medical procedures, daily routines, etc to almost the point of one foot in front of the other) seemingly in an effort to lengthen the story relayed into an appropriate length for publication. Personal didn't need it. The story shared is more than enough to capture our hearts and the family tie-ins of their life as a whole just further that bond.  You not only learn how their lives are now with Oogy, but how their lives evolved prior to his charming presence.

In summary, a book for animal lovers and readers alike; reading this book is to experience all that is "Oogy" and see what happens when a little love is shared.  This book was released earlier this month so be on the look out in a store near or online outlet near you.  Review copy courtesy of Hachette Book Group.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title and their full catalog, visit them online or follow along on Twitter.

Until next time...happy reading.


Tales of Whimsy said...

What a beautiful honest review. This sounds so moving. I'm so glad you shared your thoughts with us on this one.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

As soon as I read pet, passing away I couldn't go on.

StephTheBookworm said...

I have been dying to read this.

Gina said...

Juju: Thanks Juju! Yes, it really was a moving story. You can't but fall in love with Oogy and the whole family.

Petty Witter: Aww, but Petty, that's such a small portion of the book! Don't miss out on the heart of the story....the little one's passing is heart breaking but also how their lives intersect with Oogy!

StephTheBookworm: Well should! ^_^

The1stdaughter said...

Ahhh...this sounds so good! I'm absolutely against animal cruelty and hope all those who do animals harm go to a very dark place. It's just not right!

But this sounds fantastic, that he ended up in such a good place at the end. Besides, my sis is an English Bulldog owner and loves anything even remotely related. Chock it up to another for her list! :o)

Gina said...

the1stdaughter: Exactly...they are little innocent fuzzy friends that simply want love and attention. Definitely a good story and yes, I think your sis may really make a connection with it. ^_^

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