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“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, Merle’s Door is tender, funny, and ultimately illuminating.”

I found this book somewhere for free. I usually love books about dogs, but by the end swear off reading any of them ever again. This book is the only exception to that rule. This book didn’t grip me like the others did. Instead this book was more science than feelings and a lot more stand offish.

The book was slow to start and even slower to read. It was like talking with someone from North Berkeley that swears that they aren’t like that. So it took me a while to get into it and feel the love for Merle.

While the book was a tale of great adventures for both dog and man, it was pretty darn boring for me. I wish I could say that I loved this book, but I was forcing myself to keep reading. The book was more about his adventures and his hunting than about Merle. Though that may just be how boring I found his adventures to be. They were impressive, but not really what I like to read about.

The sections about Merle being the mayor was really funny and great. The more focused on Merle the section was the more readable it was. Though the very pretentious way he discussed the way he interacted with Merle was very annoying. It felt like I was sitting in the North Berkeley dog park and I was being told that “my dog ONLY eats organic grains”. I get enough of that when I go there for my puppy’s playtime. I don’t need to read it on the way to work. I understand that a lot of what people do can drive a dog nuts, but that isn’t to say that every dog is a dog that can handle a dog door or is smart enough to handle being around animals that can potentially kill them. My dog, though she is small, thinks she can take on the two giant dogs near us. Small dogs would not necessarily benefit or survive the life Merle had.

I do have to admit that the funeral for the dogs really made me cry. I wasn’t expecting that since I wasn’t really that closely involved with the book. That itself impressed me.

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2 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book.

You can buy the book here.

~Isaiah

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