There are many dog books out there and I have read a lot of them. Some are purely humorous, some are dry and statistical, some are nonfiction, and others are blends of fact and fiction.
But of all the dog books I’ve read, Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog is the only one that has uniquely blended science and animal research with true life, weaving together a touching man/dog story with the science behind dogs, their packs, and the human/dog relationship in general.
While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote meets a stray dog, whom he names Merle and takes home to Wyoming. The door in Merle’s Door refers to a dog door that Kerasote installs, allowing Merle the freedom to come and go as he pleases. Kerasote lets Merle be a dog, and in the process that dog teaches Kerasote. By giving Merle the freedom to make choices, both man and dog learn a lot about love, life and happiness.
For those who want to learn about dogs, Merle’s Door explores who dogs are and why they do what they do, all in an informal, entertaining way. This book will make you laugh, cry, and ponder the animal-human connection. Spanning 13 years, the book documents the life of Merle — Kerasote even goes so far as to narrate for Merle — and it works. (Merle’s narrative will especially hit home for dog owners.)
As a co-habitant living with both cats and a dog myself, I appreciate the fact that Kerasote likes all animals — from Gray Cat, to the game he hunts — Kerasote exhibits compassion and respect for the outdoors, Mother Nature, and the whole animal kingdom.
I now have three favorite “dog” books: Marley & Me, which I reach for when my dog misbehaves; Sight Hound, my favorite hound fiction; and, now, Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog.