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

Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote
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Apr 22, 13

Read in September, 2008

Probably the very best book I've read in a long time. It is not just a dog book, but a story about imperfect love, which makes it a best seller instead of just a cute dog story. It lived with me for weeks after I finished it, and I finally wrote the author, and he wrote back, twice. There are sort of scientific insets during the tale which I did not think added to the story but the rest was a really good read. On the human relationship level, people often jump into close human relationships without objectivity and find out later they should have checked first before leaping! It makes you wonder how that can happen so often and how some people manage to get it right! On the people to pets level, this is a good tale because people can relate to it in many ways. You'll have to read it to see what I mean. I did compare this to Marley and Me, because that book was also a quick read and good story. Very different settings and personalities in the two books. I think Marley and Me would have broader appeal, but Merle's Door is more universal and lasting in its messages. I couldn't put it down. Stayed up late burning the midnight oil reading it. I think one interesting point in this book was the idea that a dog does not have to be strictly related to as something to be governed by its owner, that the author experimented with letting the dog have some freedom to live in his way, and the times when he needed to step in and use a strong guiding hand, made it more interesting. The door in the title embodies that theme. The ending of Marley and Me was humorous, when Marley took himself outside in the snow determined to relieve himself under a tree way out in the property. The ending of this book was more bittersweet. I kept thinking of ways he could have redone that part. But overall a very good read.

1/9/2012 Started rereading this one now that I have a new pup with a different personality and a new perspective on dogs, thought I'd do this again!
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