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Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

by

Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog Cover

ISBN13: 9780151012701
ISBN10: 0151012709
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $9.95!

 

Staff Pick

Because I love dogs, Merle's Door was my favorite book this year. Merle lives with his owner, Ted, in the Grand Tetons. (He "found" Ted on one of Ted's many hunting explorations.) This book is a beautiful record of the relationship of a true wilderness man with an amazing dog.
Recommended by Charlotte, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote met a dog — a Labrador mix — who was living on his own in the wild. They became attached to each other, and Kerasote decided to name the dog Merle and bring him home. There, he realized that Merle's native intelligence would be diminished by living exclusively in the human world. He put a dog door in his house so Merle could live both outside and in.

A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable dog and his relationship with the author, Merle's Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine, bringing to bear the latest research into animal consciousness and behavior as well as insights into the origins and evolution of the human-dog partnership. Merle showed Kerasote how dogs might live if they were allowed to make more of their own decisions, and Kerasote suggests how these lessons can be applied universally.

Review:

"Humorous, jubilant and touching by turns, this story of the relationship between man and dog is informed by the author's grasp of animal research and his attachment to Merle, a stray dog he adopted. A Labrador mix, Merle first appeared while the author was on a camping trip. Kerasote (Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age), an award-winning nature writer, decided to take his canine friend home to rural Wyoming. This chronicle of their 13 years together is interspersed with studies by animal behaviorists that strengthened Kerasote's desire to see Merle as a responsible individual rather than a submissive pet. Merle set his own eating schedule (though not without early mishap), refused to hunt birds (although not elks) and, according to the author, possessed a range of emotions and sentiments similar to those of humans. Kerasote tends to anthropomorphize Merle's every look and movement, but this narrative is entertaining and Kerasote's strong love for Merle and enthusiasm for life in the wild will win over many readers. Kerasote's joyous relationship with Merle is balanced by a bittersweet account of a close relationship the author had with Alison, a neighbor and fellow dog owner. Kerasote's last weeks with the dying Merle are beautifully rendered. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A thoughtful look at animal intelligence and the human-dog connection." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"It is no exaggeration to say that Merle's Door could be the best book ever written about dogs." Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs

Review:

"Kerasote has created a whole new work of art. Merle's Door is the best, the most utterly compelling translation of dog to human I have ever seen. A terrific book, a superb book, I can't think of a single other book that conveys the love of a human for a dog so well." Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of Dogs Never Lie About Love

Review:

"Merle's Door is a window into the mind of a dog. You will experience his loyalty, fears, and joys and his true inner self. Everybody who loves dogs must read this book." Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation

Review:

"Merle's Door is a love story for grown-ups—an intense reciprocal relationship between a dog and his man, and how we and our dogs genuinely share feelings and emotions." Dr. Bruce Fogle, DVM, author of The Dog's Mind

Review:

"Merle's Door is a joyous, sad, gripping, and deeply moving testament to the fulfilling relationship that can grow between human and dog." Juliet Clutton-Brock, author of A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals

Review:

"To be entertained and educated at the same time is rare in dog books, which makes this one definitely worth reading." Stanley Coren, author of How Dogs Think and The Intelligence of Dogs

Book News Annotation:

Kerasote's articles have been published in Audubon and National Geographic Traveler. In this memoir he introduces the reader to Merle, the golden retriever he met and adopted during a camping trip in Utah. He integrates the story of the relationship that followed with research on animal consciousness and behavior, preferring the notion of adapting one's behavior to one's dog over traditional obedience training. Writing as Merle's "translator," he demonstrates how becoming a partner to his dog and allowing him plenty of freedom taught them both valuable lessons on living. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

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, Merles Door is tender, funny, and ultimately illuminating.

About the Author

Ted Kerasote's writing has appeared in more than fifty periodicals, including Audubon, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, Field & Stream, Salon, and the New York Times. His most recent book, Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age, won the National Outdoor Book Award. He lives in Wyoming.

Table of Contents

contents

prologue              xiii

chapter 1: From the Wild     1

chapter 2: The First Dog     26

chapter 3: The Synaptic Kiss                49

chapter 4: In the Genes        67

chapter 5: Building the Door               97

chapter 6: Growing Into Himself         113

chapter 7: Top Dog              145

chapter 8: The Gray Cat      169

chapter 9: Estrogen Clouds 181

chapter 10: At Home in the Arms of the Country 194

chapter 11: The Problem of Me           210

chapter 12: The Mayor of Kelly           234

chapter 13: The Alpha Pair  249

chapter 14: White Muzzle     270

chapter 15: What Do Dogs Want?       284

chapter 16: A Looser Leash 304

chapter 17:t-family: 'Times New Roman'" The First Passing              313

chapter 18: Through the Door             327

with many thanks                363

notes      365

index      381

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 10 comments:

mudd.bartlett, January 4, 2011 (view all comments by mudd.bartlett)
this story really opened up my mind just how smart a dog can be if you really take the time to understand how the dog thinks in his/her own way and just how devoted they will become to you if you just let them be them. It greatly moved me I had the kleenex box out a number of times. Im a cat owner but I love dogs and all animals. But the way this story was written, it was like a beautiful love story which in a way it was just that. I have already told many people about this book and how they just have to read it!!! sandy
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Jackie Collins, February 26, 2009 (view all comments by Jackie Collins)
When I was nine, our teacher read us "Where the Red Fern Grows" while we rested after recess. I was so moved by the book, I can still envision the room, and see all of us crying, our teacher included. Not since then have I cried so much over a book, unable to lay it down and walk away. I grew up in the country with animals as my soul-mates, so I know of what Ted Kerasote speaks. It's just that he's been able to put into words a connection with animals I thought indescribable. I finished the book over two weeks ago, and yet, I find my eyes misting every time I think of it. And, I miss Merle and want him back.
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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Margie, February 19, 2009 (view all comments by Margie)
As the author found, if you want a true companion in an animal, let the animal come to you instead of searching them out. An animal's sense of rightness in a relationship is often much better than a human's and, yet, we are supposed to be the evolved creatures. Two of my best dogs came purely by chance and I have decided that when Harley, the last of my "chance" dogs, dies I will simply wait for the next one to appear when the time is right. A beautiful story.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 10 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151012701
Subtitle:
Lessons from a Freethinking Dog
Author:
Kerasote, Ted
Author:
Galen, Russell
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Dogs - General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Dogs - Breeds
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Dogs
Subject:
Behavior
Subject:
Outdoor Skills
Subject:
Human-animal relationships
Subject:
Dogs - Wyoming
Subject:
PETS / General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080421
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
One 8-page black-and-white photo insert
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

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Related Subjects


Pets » Dogs » Dogs by Breed
Pets » Dogs » General
Pets » General
Pets » Pet Tales

Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Harcourt - English 9780151012701 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Because I love dogs, Merle's Door was my favorite book this year. Merle lives with his owner, Ted, in the Grand Tetons. (He "found" Ted on one of Ted's many hunting explorations.) This book is a beautiful record of the relationship of a true wilderness man with an amazing dog.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Humorous, jubilant and touching by turns, this story of the relationship between man and dog is informed by the author's grasp of animal research and his attachment to Merle, a stray dog he adopted. A Labrador mix, Merle first appeared while the author was on a camping trip. Kerasote (Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age), an award-winning nature writer, decided to take his canine friend home to rural Wyoming. This chronicle of their 13 years together is interspersed with studies by animal behaviorists that strengthened Kerasote's desire to see Merle as a responsible individual rather than a submissive pet. Merle set his own eating schedule (though not without early mishap), refused to hunt birds (although not elks) and, according to the author, possessed a range of emotions and sentiments similar to those of humans. Kerasote tends to anthropomorphize Merle's every look and movement, but this narrative is entertaining and Kerasote's strong love for Merle and enthusiasm for life in the wild will win over many readers. Kerasote's joyous relationship with Merle is balanced by a bittersweet account of a close relationship the author had with Alison, a neighbor and fellow dog owner. Kerasote's last weeks with the dying Merle are beautifully rendered. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A thoughtful look at animal intelligence and the human-dog connection."
"Review" by , "It is no exaggeration to say that Merle's Door could be the best book ever written about dogs."
"Review" by , "Kerasote has created a whole new work of art. Merle's Door is the best, the most utterly compelling translation of dog to human I have ever seen. A terrific book, a superb book, I can't think of a single other book that conveys the love of a human for a dog so well."
"Review" by , "Merle's Door is a window into the mind of a dog. You will experience his loyalty, fears, and joys and his true inner self. Everybody who loves dogs must read this book."
"Review" by , "Merle's Door is a love story for grown-ups—an intense reciprocal relationship between a dog and his man, and how we and our dogs genuinely share feelings and emotions."
"Review" by , "Merle's Door is a joyous, sad, gripping, and deeply moving testament to the fulfilling relationship that can grow between human and dog."
"Review" by , "To be entertained and educated at the same time is rare in dog books, which makes this one definitely worth reading."
"Synopsis" by ,
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, Merles Door is tender, funny, and ultimately illuminating.

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