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Merle's Door


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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.


The trend in best-selling memoirs about dogs sparked by John Grogan's Marley & Me bodes well for this engaging new work by National Outdoor Book Award-winning author Kerasote, who introduces readers to a stray Labrador retriever mix to whom he became attached while on a camping trip in Utah. Their paths cross on the banks of the San Juan River, and for dog and man, life is forever altered. Merle is a free spirit with an enormous zest for life, good survival skills, and the dangerous habit of killing calves-he needs training! But Merle's lessons, Karasote writes, aren't as much about training as about partnership. Drawing on an extensive and exceptional list of references and including informative background on how animals learn and perceive their world, Kerasote gives readers much to consider that will enrich their own relationships with their pets. His book is highly recommended, but it does come with a tissue alert. And, because people seem to love well-written dog stories as much as they love their dogs, libraries may also want to stock up on similar titles, such as Jon Katz's A Good Dog.-Edell M. Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.


The world is lucky to have this book.--ELIZABETH MARSHALL THOMAS, author of THE HIDDEN LIFE OF DOGS PRAISE FOR OUT THERE [A] sly, funny, and wise look at the world beyond the walls that we erect to keep ourselves safe from the wilderness and to keep the wilderness safe from us.--ALEXANDRA FULLER, author of DON'T LET'S GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT

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