Oogy The Dog Only a Family Could Love

Oogy The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin

Book: Oogy The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Larry Levin
while I patted his head and flanks and rubbed his back. That excitement level continued unabated as we walked back into the kitchen, where I put him on the leash and took him outside. As we were completing the second circuit of the house, I saw the boys crossing the neighbor’s front yard. When they saw Oogy, they came running over, surrounding him. They dropped their backpacks and knelt, and he raced back and forth between the two of them. I thought back to the laundry room earlier in the day and our first meeting and wondered what connections might be reverberating in his head.
    “Welcome home, Oogy,” Noah said. “Welcome to our house.”
    “We’re glad you’re here,” said Dan. “You’re part of our family now.”
    The four of us went into the house. In the kitchen, the boys shed sweatshirts and backpacks. Oogy followed them into the family room, where the boys sat on the couch. Oogy jumped up and sat between them. He was already a part of them, and they each placed a hand on him. I sat on the coffee table in front of them and told them everything Diane had told me. I explained about the crate, the blue lotion, what behavior to expect. I told them it would be nice if they participated in walking and feeding Oogy. While experience told me there was little chance of that happening, it was worth a shot. But to see the way the three of them now sat together on the couch was the most important thing. Really, it was the only thing.
    The boys’ late afternoon routine consisted of snacks and some TV to decompress. Oogy whined and barked at them while they ate, demanding to be included. Later, the boys began their homework while I started dinner and, afterward, did the dishes. When they tried to do their homework at the same time, Oogy refused to let them. He yapped and ran around, bit at their cuffs, picked up a chew toy, and butted them with it. As soon as someone paid attention to him, he calmed down. As a result, the boys quickly learned that one of them had to keep Oogy company, pay attention to him , while the other worked. After I was done cleaning up, I took over keeping Oogy occupied, giving him the attention he craved. He insisted on recognition. He insisted on inclusion. The family dynamics had been completely altered.
    Jennifer had called to say she was going out to dinner with a client and anticipated she would be home sometime around 10:00. She asked how Oogy was doing.
    “He’s great,” I told her. “The boys are madly in love with him already.”
    After giving Oogy a peanut-butter bone, which I placed on an old blanket that forever after would be Oogy’s dedicated bone blanket, I sat on the couch and read. When he was finished with his bone, Oogy climbed up next to me and went to sleep. I realized that once Oogy understood that he could get my attention, his need for it changed.
    After the boys had completed their homework, they joined us on the couch.
    That night, Dan took his bath first. I filled the tub for him, testing the water, which he never liked to be too hot. Oogy stood in the room with me while I did this, then followed me downstairs while the tub filled and went back upstairs with Dan and me for the bath. I left the two of them in the bathroom, the door open, while I folded laundry.
    Suddenly Oogy began barking, the sound reverberating off the walls of the bathroom like a dinner bell. I turned my head to look from where I was seated on the floor by the mound of clean laundry that always seemed to overflow the basket. Dan was submerged, completely out of sight, rinsing off his hair. Oogy had placed his forelegs on the side of the tub and raised himself in alert; the boy he loved had disappeared. As soon as Dan brought his head out of the water, Oogy’s anxiety disappeared and the barking ceased. Dan then moved closer to Oogy through the softly lapping water with an almost instinctual understanding of what would calm him. Oogy began to lick Dan’s face.
    I helped Dan towel off, relishing

Similar Books

Oh. My. Gods.

Tera Lynn Childs

Taming the Moguls

Christy Hayes

The Desert Princess

Jill Eileen Smith

Chasing Darkness

Danielle Girard

The Turtle of Oman

Naomi Shihab Nye

Straw Men

J. R. Roberts

Soul Survivor

Andrea Leininger, Bruce Leininger