Book Review #5 – Merle’s Door

Merle’s Door

By Ted Kerasote

  • Pub. Date: July 2007
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • ISBN-13: 9781615535170
  • Hardcover, 416pp


From the author’s website: “Merle and Ted found each other in the Utah desert. Merle was about ten months old, surviving on his own, and looking for a human to hang his heart on. Ted was forty-one, liked to write about animals, and had been searching for a pup whom he could shape into a companion. The training went both ways. Ted showed Merle how to live around wildlife, and Merle reshaped Ted’s ideas about the complexity of a dog’s mind, showing him how a dog’s intelligence could be expanded by allowing it to make more of its own decisions.

Acting as Merle’s translator, and using Merle’s life and lessons as a door into the world of dogs, Ted takes us on the journey they shared. He explores why the dog-human bond is so intense and how people and dogs communicate so readily with each other. He also uses the latest wolf research—showing that wolves treat maturing pups as partners rather than as subordinates—to explain how sharing leadership with your dog, rather than being its alpha, can help to create a healthier, more self-reliant, and better-socialized companion.

Funny, fascinating, and tender, Merle’s Door is a moving love story that reveals how the partnership between dogs and humans can become far more than we have imagined.”

I am crying even now as I think of this book. I normally would not have read this book because I knew it would be a tear-jerker and boy was it ever. A friend of mine gave it to me to read from her husband, so I felt compelled to give it a try.

It was an excellent story. Endearing, funny, fascinating and packed full of information, it led me into a world of people who live much closer to nature and animals. This is a must read for dog “owners” and dog lovers. You will never look at your puppy the same way again. It validated my belief that pets are members of the family and not objects of domination.

Just before sure you have a full box of tissues for the ending.

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Today is the second day of NaNoWriMo 2009.

Target word count today: 1,667 words.

Yesterday’s word count 1,867.

My user name is goldennib.

If you are doing NaNo too, look me up so we can be NaNo Buddies.


For novels completed in previous years, as they came off of my fingertips:

My 2006 Novel – Happenstance

My 2007 Novel – Ancestral Head

My 2008 Novel – Ranee’s Revenge

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20 thoughts on “Book Review #5 – Merle’s Door

  1. Not up for tears just yet. Maybe when I am back on my own turf and feeling less tragile. I do want to read this book though, especially if we ever decide to get a pet.

  2. How do you find time to do all the stuff you do like work, read, write, blog, paint, go camping, well, I get shaky just thinking of it. Icy has been more than just a pet to me over the years, yet she would have been dead a long time ago if I hadn’t been the alfa because in spite of what we like to believe, dogs just don’t have the common sense to stay alive and well in city life.

  3. This sounds really cool. I’ll have to add it to my list of things I mean to read someday. I used to be able to read a book in an afternoon. I don’t have the concentration to be able to do so at this point, which kind of sucks.

  4. We’re back, thank you for the Rabbit greeting. 🙂
    I have just ordered this book from our library, I am second on the queue.
    I read in our yesteday’s paper about the brodacious wolf kill in W(h)yoming. It seems a very wise old lady wolf couldn’t evade the bullets. She was a tagged for traking fine lady.
    That report is a tear jerker as well. I think your book might help prepare me for Adi’s impending death. She is failing slowly.

  5. Congrats on your three winners. I would like to try that someday but suppose I never will. For sure I would not expect to win.
    I might not even come out of the closet for that. 🙂

  6. Oh, I can tell this will be a must read for me and I haven’t even heard of it . SO glad you brought it to my attention. THANK YOU!

    And thank you, too, for stopping by and laughing at the Lassie pictures with me. It was so kind of you to take the time to leave a comment. BLESSINGS!

  7. I love dogs and this sounds quite interesting, but like Quilly, I am not up for a teary ending. Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving me notes.

  8. Did you ever see the “Homeward Bound” movies? well my daughter LOVED them and I saw them a zillion times and cried every time!

    Thanks for the book review, like you I probably wouldnt have tried it just because i know it will make me cry.

    I also did the writers contest..well I signed up but never had time to participate. obviously I love writing but not enough to make it a priority, reading is one of my favs too and i dont make it a priority either, hmmm maybe I need to review my PRIORITIES! ~;oD

  9. I love reading books like this. The last one I read was about the Library Cat…Dewey. And like your promises of this critique, I needed tons of tissues.

    Happy Monday.

  10. Nope, I won’t read it, I won’t, I won’t! I just finally read Marley & Me, I can’t go through it again. You know how it’s going to end and yet you just keep reading.

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