Merle was the star of the book. The book made you feel as if you could reach out and pet Merle and follow everything that he was doing.
He was Merle's voice.
I had to stop listening to the book at one point because I was in a public place and couldn't cry in front of everyone. After several days, I was able to listen to the rest of the book and enjoy every word.
The book successfully captured his personality and quirks. The relationship between Merle and his human companion was beautiful.
As a dog lover and person who loves the outdoors, I found this a fascinating and illuminating read. I will purchase it for several friends who I know will be engaged by Merle's interesting personality and the research that explains so many characteristics of companion dogs. The end got a little 'over the top' but overall a very good book.
I loved this book. I am a dog lover, but not a dog owner, and have read and listened to every dog book I have been able to get my hands on for years. This is certainly one of the best. Merle was definitely an amazing dog and Ted Kerasote did a truly wonderful and insightful job in describing their life together. It is unfortunate that not all of us -- people and dogs -- can live in Kelly, Wyoming where the dogs can run free and the people can enjoy their dogs, each other and the wilderness in such a wonderful setting. It is one of the reasons that, as a city dweller, I don't have a dog. The ending was sad and heart warming at the same time. I don't know who was the luckier one because of the wonderful life they were able to share for so many years -- Merle or Ted. It was a truly inspiring story.
I am quoting from a review on Amazon that says it better than I ever could (and that I wish I'd read before my purchase):
"The fact is, I found myself hating this man, even as I grew fond of his dog. Jackson Hole is rife with his type of arrogant, he-man, gotta-eat-wild-animals, gun loving, opinionated jerks. He even goes so far as to say that vegans are responsible for the destruction of animals and insects because farming supplants wildlife habitat. Yet it's somehow okay for him to go out and blast away at elk, antelope, deer, various birds, and God knows what else. He is downright irresponsible with his wonderful dog. As for the idiotic idea that dogs should run free, I live in a rural area where people let their dogs do just that, and people do get bitten, and dogs do attack other dogs and livestock, and they do get hit by cars and shot by people who have had it with dog owners just like Kerasote."
Merle was "the best dog in the world." Kerasote not only did a great job of showing us what Merle was like, he also presented research on dogs to support his notion that they really are a lot like humans. He believes they need to have the freedom to become adults, rather than remain the children that we tend to treat them as.
I believe this is a good book but this narrator is just annoying....I can't listen for long.
The condensed description of this title caught my attention and the author kept it for all 18 chapters. Kerasote tells the story of his and Merle's lives, how they met, lived, loved and how Merle left an indelible mark on an entire community. A truly free dog who chose the perfect human companion in Kerasote, was allowed to be who he was. The interjection of relevant canine behavioral research was incredibly refreshing. I laughed, learned and cried - highly recommend this title!
I listened to this book twice and will probably listen again and again. It confirms my way of sharing life with a dog. In fact, this morning my "Merle" learned after 2 trips to the vet that "huh, huh, you don't mess with porcupines!" I give her leeway and she gives me leeway. We love each other and how can one survive life after such a relationship. Somehow we do, don't we?
The best contemporary dog tale I've read. The author's ability to capture Merle's expressions and antics made me able to see him in my mind. I also like the mix of behavioral science and memoir.