Imagine my surprise when I checked the weird news after finishing Sunday's post about misshapen heads and this guy popped up! He looks like a real character, doesn't he? He is, and here is his story:
As a puppy, Oogy was used as a bait dog to train pit bulls to fight. One of the vicious dogs bit the left side of his face so hard that most of his ear was torn off and parts of his upper head and lower jaw were crushed. He was left to bleed to death, but was rescued when police raided the facility and was nursed back to health at a Philadelphia veterinary hospital. The Levins met Oogy when they brought their 17-year-old cat in for his final visit. Despite his raw and swollen wounds, the puppy was clearly delighted at the prospect of going for a walk, and was generous with his kisses. "Other than his lopsidedness, Oogy looks like any other one-eared dog," Mr. Levin describes. They fell instantly in love with him, took him home, and found out later that he was a dogo Argentino, a breed of ferocious hunters with no aggression that make loving and loyal family pets. True to type, Oogy absolutely craves physical contact and demands lap time despite his 85lb weight and stocky build. The dog is haunted by his past, and is afraid of kicking motions, being touched on the hips when he is sleeping, and being crated. Following 12-year-olds Noah and Dan everywhere he could and inserting himself in their games, Oogy became known around the house as the "3rd twin." The boys' father describes the dog's appearance: "One side of his face looked normal and the other side looked like that of a gargoyle. As Oogy grew, the scar tissue spread. He could not completely close his left eye, so it wept constantly in an attempt to lubricate itself; his lip was pulled up and back in a perpetual grimace, exposing some of his upper teeth. From the one side he looked like a Crocodile Dog." The vet explained that the distortion of Oogy's facial muscles left him in constant pain, so at the age of 2 he underwent an operation to remove the scar tissue. Skin grafts were taken from his legs to cover the softball-sized hole in his skull. Since then, he has had to undergo other surgeries, but has taken them in stride and let all his bad memories go. Mr. Levin writes, "Because Oogy was abused by both humans and dogs, strangers are invariably surprised that he loves animals and people as much as he does. When people first encounter Oogy they invariably ask if he is safe; I tell them he has licked two people to death."Oprah thought the tale was worth sharing, too, and featured Oogy's biography in her magazine.