Mark J's Reviews > Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote
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's review
Aug 16, 2010

it was amazing
Read in August, 2010

This is a wonderful book... much more than just another "aw, isn't that cute" bunch of anecdotes. (Though those can be fun, too!) The author clearly loves the outdoors, and he clearly loves animals. He shares with the reader his insights about raising the stray dog who adopted him in the wilderness of Utah.

Upon returning to his home on the edge of the wilderness in Wyoming, he explores the learning process he and Merle shared as they each discover how to make life in such a wonderful, though potentially dangerous, complex natural setting.

Author Ted Kerasote challenges some of the accepted theories of current leading experts in dog training, believing that in the unique setting he shares with Merle, it is important for Merle to be able to explore and learn, relying on his own innate abilities where ever possible. Certainly, Ted provides a guiding influence where necessary and appropriate, but he prefers to err on the side of freedom for his sidekick whenever possible.

The pet door he installs on the trailer (that serves as their temporary home) opens up an amazing level of freedom that changes everything in their shared relationship. Will Merle continue to return as "Ted's dog" once he discovers that nothing tethers him to Ted's home? Will Ted come to regret the freedom he has given Merle, not only to come and go as he pleases, but also to invite his own canine cohorts into Ted's home whenever he chooses? Merle's door frees both dog and human to explore psychological as well as physical realms of their shared world with unusual freedom.

If you love dogs (and other animals) you'll really enjoy this read!
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