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Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog | [Ted Kerasote]

Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

Ted Kerasote met and adopted Merle, a Labrador mix, while he was on a camping trip. Merle had been living in the wild, and after taking the dog home with him to Wyoming, Kerasote soon realized that Merle could not adjust to inhabiting exclusively the human world. So he put a door in his house to let Merle live both outside and in. A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable animal, Merle's Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face.
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Publisher's Summary

Ted Kerasote met and adopted Merle, a Labrador mix, while he was on a camping trip. Merle had been living in the wild, and after taking the dog home with him to Wyoming, Kerasote soon realized that Merle could not adjust to inhabiting exclusively the human world. So he put a door in his house to let Merle live both outside and in.

A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable animal, Merle's Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine and presents the latest research into animal behavior, as well as the origins and evolution of human-dog interaction. Merle showed Kerasote how dogs might live were they free; Kerasote suggests how they should be allowed to live, and the doors that should always remain open to them.

©2007 Ted Kerasote; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Informative....Kerasote gives readers much to consider that will enrich their own relationships with their pets....Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (580 )
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  •  
    Diana Walnut Creek, CA, USA 06-12-10
    Diana Walnut Creek, CA, USA 06-12-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This Book is Not Meant for Most Dog Owners"

    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."

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Columbus, OH, United States 05-14-10
    Carol Columbus, OH, United States 05-14-10 Member Since 2012
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    "Moving true story and good research"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lajuan Idabel, OK, United States 03-28-10
    Lajuan Idabel, OK, United States 03-28-10 Member Since 2012
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    "STill trying to get through this book"

    I believe this is a good book but this narrator is just annoying....I can't listen for long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shari Bryan, Texas, United States 03-22-10
    Shari Bryan, Texas, United States 03-22-10 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic listen"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Grosser San Antonio, TX United States 06-24-09
    Carol Grosser San Antonio, TX United States 06-24-09 Member Since 2015
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    "The Very Best Book on Dogs"

    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?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Beck Chester, MA 09-04-08
    Paula Beck Chester, MA 09-04-08 Member Since 2010

    baybay2

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    "You can see Merle"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannie 08-22-08
    Jeannie 08-22-08

    I'm an avid reader since childhood. I'm a retired science teacher, retired nuclear plant worker and grandmother of three. I love mysteries.

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    "lots of research"

    I'd probably like this story more if it stayed with the Merle story more. I didn't like listening to all the research, some of which really wandered from the story. I took many of the Merle stories with more than a grain of salt!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 05-24-08
    Donna 05-24-08
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    "Heartwarming Story"

    Anyone who has ever loved and appreciated a real character underneath all that fur will enjoy this book. Having a Golden myself I identified with the author and his special relationship with Merle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Scottsville, VA, United States 10-26-09
    Susan Scottsville, VA, United States 10-26-09
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    "Like a science class"

    While the interactions between author and Merle were funny and interesting, most of the story was about research of animal behavior. It was so boring, I couldn't finish the book. I was very disappointed.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 01-13-13
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 01-13-13 Member Since 2013

    BJS

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    "Dog lover's delight"
    What did you love best about Merle's Door?

    The way Merle changed Ted's life. Not only that but changed the way he lived his life as well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Merle of course. As a lover of the canine species, I have read just about every book out there. This one is one of the best. Along with The Art of Racing in the Rain. A Dog's Purpose, A Dog's Journey, The Andy Carpenter Series, The Chet and Bernie Series. I recommend all of these very highly And if you have already read any of those I mentioned and enjoyed, then you should read, listen to this one as well.


    What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

    Patrick Lawlor was wonderful. I have listened to him doing other narrations and he is one of the best.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many to mention. This book was just full of wonderful and strong moments for a dog lover.


    Any additional comments?

    Your Credit will not be wasted on this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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