When he was just a puppy, Larry says Oogy was living in a hell on earth. He was tied to a stake and used as bait for pit bulls in a dogfighting ring. "He basically had the side of his face ripped off, his jaw was crushed, his skull was damaged," says veterinarian Dr. Bianco. "He's lucky to be alive."
Larry and his twin boys were at the vet to drop off their cat when Oogy walked down the hall...and right into their hearts. "He looked like part of him had melted," Larry says. "But he just covered us with kisses. It's like he didn't know that anything bad had happened to him—he was just full of love. He jumped in our arms."
When Larry found out the dog didn't belong to anyone, he asked Dr. Bianco if he could adopt him. "I couldn't believe my good luck," Larry says. "That's how I felt about this dog right from the start."
Oogy was given a loving home, but he still had an agonizing road to recovery. A second major surgery was necessary to rebuild Oogy's face and put an end to his chronic pain. "I think that every day my family tries to atone for what happened to Oogy. He's been through the worst imaginable horrors, and we feel very lucky because of what he gives back to us—an immeasurable amount of devotion and love."
Larry's twin sons, Noah and Dan, have something special in common with Oogy—they were also adopted. "I'm sure when our parents adopted us, I hope it was one of the greatest days of their lives. And I know in my life, my experience when we adopted [Oogy], it was one of the greatest days of my life," Dan says.
Although Noah and Dan will be off to college soon, Larry plans to make sure Oogy still gets plenty of attention. "One of the things I want to do for Oogy is train him to work with kids and take him to kid's hospitals, because I think he'll be an inspiration to young kids who are facing a lot of adversity," Larry says.