Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

by Ted Kerasote
4.4 264

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Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote

Now including a wonderful new photo insert chronicling Merle’s life, this national bestseller explores the relationship between humans and dogs. How would dogs live if they were free? Would they stay with their human friends?

Merle and Ted found each other in the Utah desert— Merle was living wild and Ted was looking for a pup to keep him company. As their bond grew, Ted taught Merle how to live around wildlife, and Merle taught Ted about the benefits of letting a dog make his own decisions.

Using the latest in wolf research and exploring issues of animal consciousness and leadership and the origins of the human-dog relationship, Ted Kerasote takes us on the journey he and Merle shared. As much a love story as a story of independence and partnership, Merle’s Door is tender, funny, and ultimately illuminating.

Now including a wonderful new photo insert chronicling Merle’s life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547415987
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/21/2008
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 90,574
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

TED KERASOTE is the author of several books, including the national bestseller Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog and Out There, which won the National Outdoor Book Award. His essays and photographs have appeared in Audubon, Geo, Outside, Science, the New York Times, and more than sixty other periodicals. He lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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Merle's Door 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 263 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew when I picked up this book that I was in for a cry, because I always cry when I read dog books. After all, you know the dog is going to die in the end--they always do! It's not fair, but that's the way it is--most people live several dog lifetimes. It seems as if we're always having to say goodbye. But of course I did pick it up, I did read it, and I did cry. I finished it last night. It took me over an hour, it seemed, to get through the last chapter. I would be sobbing so hard, I'd have to stop, blow my nose, run to the bathroom to splash cold water over my face, and clean my glasses. This book was seriously hard to finish. I loved that dog so much. It was extremely well-written, informative, and thought-provoking. The author may have gotten a little carried away with the anthropomorphisms. I mean, I doubted some of the thoughts that were attributed to Merle, but who am I to judge? Ted knew the dog a lot better than I did, and who's to say he didn't know what Merle was thinking? And what a life that dog had! Obviously, we can't all provide our dogs with mountains, but maybe we can at least learn to treat them as fellow travelers and give them the respect they deserve. I highly recommend this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic read. As a biologist and zookeeper my ideas on the relationship between man and animal were pretty well established. . . this book blew them all out of the water. It has made me rethink my relationship with the animals at work as well as my own animals at home. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves animals.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely one of the best, if not the best book ever written about the bond between humans and their dogs. Not only was it educational in a variety of ways but truely a touching love story. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. You will feel like you are a part of Ted and Merle's great adventure. What a dog and author!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the most insteresting reads I've had in a while! If you love animals, this will warm your heart and soul. Wish all our animals could be this free and happy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The chance meeting on a camping trip in Utah of Ted Kerasote and an abandoned dog, who eventually was named Merle, was the beginning of the most remarkable relationship between human and dog that I have ever read. And I have read many wonderful dog stories, fiction and non fiction, and this book is probably my favorite. No other writer has captured how closely dogs and humans are so much like each other, emotionally and intellectually. There are plenty of adventures over their thirteeen years together that Mr. Kerasote chronicles in his beautiful prose, as he is a fine writer, with not a maudlin false step. He captures the essence of how dogs make us more human by what they teach us. What a gift. This book is not to be missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book changed forever how I see dogs. The mark of a truly good book is it's ability to help you see the world differently This book does that and my dog has a better, more rewarding life as a result. Great book.
Sharon Carmichael More than 1 year ago
If you love your dog AND want understand them this is a must read. There's a touching story but also facts to facilitate canine understanding. Concise, and helpful for dog lovers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great story of the relationship between a man and his dog. I learned so much and makes me appreciate dogs even more. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has a dog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are an extended family of dog people. My mother-in-law very enthusiastically recommended this book to anyone we met who was walking their dog, saying "if you love dogs then I must recommend a book". I thought it might be sappy, but sent it to a dog-loving friend for Christmas. And still did not read it until I received a copy from my enthusiastic, and very much correct, mother-in-law as a gift. It is not sentimental, but truly wrenches one's heart. It is informative, it is thought-provoking and most telling, anyone who reads this book buys it for someone else as gift! I highly recommend but be prepared for some tears at the end.
ceira More than 1 year ago
Great story about a man and his dog. However, I am only 16 so the research and background information was a little boring. I think however that is I was to read it again in a couple of years I would like it even better and understand why the researh was so important.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Kerasote has captured the unique and sublime relationship dog owners can have with their animals. Not only has he brought Merle to life on the pages of this book he has included research to explain the behavior of canines which adds understanding to the whys of ways.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We all believe in different ways to raise your dogs. This man did not believe in quality of life. It bought me back to when I put my animals to sleep , it was rough and this book in my eyes was horrific. He did love his dog but there is a saying " L will love you all my life, but when l am in pain and hurting, PLEASE put me out of misery. I felt terrible for this dog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have ever read. I cried, I laughed then I cried again. Ted shows us how to treat a dog respectfully through life and eventually death. This book is a must read for any animal lover. My dogs benefited from me having read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a big reader, but after this book i want to find books that are this good. Love it, MUST read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have a dog, if you've ever had a dog, if you like dogs, or if you love the outdoors, you need to read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for dog lovers
Ines De Pablo More than 1 year ago
Amazing! Funny. Witty. Profound. Intelligent. Well researched. Exquisite presentation. Beautiful story of mutual respect, love, dedication and understanding between a man and his best four legged companion. Human and animal psychology, in sync. A must read for all those that have a heart, love to learn and want to better themselves in this lifetime.
RitaBook More than 1 year ago
Not only a great story, but a great source of dog info.
ShadowTear25 More than 1 year ago
As a total dog lover and veterinary enthusiast this book was amazing! It was referred to me by a professor at school and throughout the book it gave great knowledge and documentary about behaviors of dogs as well as mental states. I learned a lot from this book, and look at my dog differently. By the end of this book I had bawled about 3 times. Extremelly good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great gift for anyone who has a special connection with animals. I just stumbled upon this wonderful book and I am so glad I did! I listen to audio books during my commute and this book makes the time fly by. There are even some days where I actually sit in my car after I have arrived at work just to finish the section I'm listening to. The author vividly describes an amazing world of rugged wilderness that he shares with an remarkable dog. If only all dogs could have the freedom afforded to Merle then perhaps they would teach us all their lessons.
WawaLW More than 1 year ago
Kerasote has the luxury of living in small-town Wyoming where he can let his intelligent dog avoid a leash. A lot of this book is Kerasote's extensive research into the evolution, biology, and psychology of dogs, so it is in places a textbook instead of leisure reading. The dog, Merle, is highly intelligent and is allowed to develop his skills and live with his fears. Kerasote's somewhat unusual life and unusual value system permeate the book, and a reader has to accept Kerasote in order to read this.
Honu More than 1 year ago
If you are an animal person this book will resonate with you! Really makes you think about our relationship with the canine world and how we want to live our lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kerasote writes with passion. It's as though Kerasote and Merle had a closeness that is almost unheard of between human and dog. He got into Merle's mind, viewing the world from the point of view of this marvelous dog. He captured, beautifully, Merle's wonderful individual personality, bringing him to life for the reader. I felt I was there with Merle hunting elk, running after bison, skiing down mountain slopes together and taking the daily trips with Merle as he made his rounds of the town, visiting his neighbors and friends, spreading his wisdom, presence, aliveness and glorious laughter with others. Yes, he laughed! I truly savored this book, hating for it to end. I really do cherish knowing Merle through this great book and I am sure I will read it many times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very well written it shows the true relastionship between man and dog. I would reccomend this book to anyone who loves dogs or animals. The book will have you laughing and crying and laughing again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Merle's Door was a wonderful outline of how dogs operate and why they react when their lives are either open or caged. I loved the facts and origins of dogs, and reccomendations on how to think like a dog.