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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Merle's Door


Newly weds Ray & Barb with Max the Wonder Puppy
 
 
Our first dog’s name was Max. Growing up in the Twin Cities neither my spouse nor I had any experience owning a dog or any kind of pet for that matter. We both taught in a small town in southeastern Minnesota and rented a home in the country. Max was what is now known as a “designer dog” back then he was considered a “mutt”. I tried to train him for upland game hunting. The fact is he trained me. He was a natural and the best hunting dog I ever saw in action. As to his behavior, think of the book and movie Marley. Max not only looked like Marley, he was equally, shall we say, “adventuress.”  Later, he was the first of four other dogs, two Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and two German Shepard’s. They were all great family pets and well trained.  But Max was the most independent, creative and intelligent by far…… which I often wondered..... why that was?  Some clues to the answer to that question, I believe, could be found in a book I just finished reading.  The title is Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote.


This book examines  the relationship between humans and dogs. How would dogs live if they were free? Would they stay with their human friends?

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. If you're a dog lover, as millions are, this memoir  is required reading.....  It will give you some serious hints about how to make your smart dog even smarter.  A small spoiler though is the fact that if you and your dog live in an urban environment or even worse an apartment the task is somewhat harder....:)

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@Barrie Summy

14 comments:

Barrie said...

Love the photo of you and Barb with Max! Definitely some dogs train us more than vice versa. :) I'm a dog lover, so I'll be adding this book to my list. Thank you for reviewing!

Valerie said...

Loved this post and I shall definitely be hunting for that book. Amazon here I come!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Although we love all our pets, the first one always stands out. Maybe it is because they were the first that taught us the love between man and dog, increased our empathy for other creatures, and well, made us better people. Life with a pet is more complete.

That is a lovely picture of you, your wife and Max.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Sad to confess I have never had a pet of any kind.

Out on the prairie said...

Sounds like a good read, a topic many of us like. I got a dog when I 1st got married to see how a 3rd person worked in our relationship, a precursor to having children. I am drawn still to all pets, but dogs the most.

Lin said...

Okay...but does the dog die at the end? I always hate animal stories because you know it's coming....

donna baker said...

As a crazy dog lover, all I want from them, well, maybe, it is to not roll in stinky things, eat poop or pee in the floor. Other than that, they make my life full of joy.

Jenn Jilks said...

What a thoughtful review!
We have lots of coyotes around, I often wonder about them!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Arkansas Patti said...

Loved the picture of the two of you and Max. It is those smart dogs that give us both the most pleasure and grief as they are always into something.
As for the book, you had me at the cover. I will look for it today. Thanks.

Sarah Laurence said...

I love your newly wed and starter dog photo and story. Our first dog taught us a lot too. I shall remember this book for my aunt who loves dogs too. Thanks for the recommendation!

Linda McLaughlin said...

I loved the story about Max, and your review of Merle's Door. Great review, Ray.

Lucy said...

I've very much a dog person and marvel at their distinct personalities. My current dog has me well trained. :)

Thanks for the review.

Powell River Books said...

I love both dogs and cats, have had both in the past. Where we live and with all the traveling we do, having a pet would be difficult. If you like dog books, an author from BC has just put out a new book written from her wilderness dog's point of view. Her name is Chris Czajkowski and the book is Harry: A Wilderness Dog Saga. She's in the midst of a book tour and I get to meet her here in town next month. I've read lots of her books and enjoy her writing style and topics. - Margy

Cynthia said...

It looks like an interesting book. Not sure if I will read it though. I love books about animals but they always die in the end and it makes me too sad. I love the photo of you and your first pup!