starburst_6 (starburst_6) wrote in bookish,
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Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote

I just finished this book today which left me sobbing.  It was incredibly beautiful, eloquent and insightful.  Kerasote's connection with the wilderness that he lives in is clear from his writing.  He illustrates the innate spiritual bond which has existed for millenia between humans and dogs.  This book is not just a biography of Merle, the dog who found Ted in the wilderness along the San Juan River, but a book about the history, biology and psychology of dogs.  Kerasote espouses his belief that by loosening the leash and sharing control with our pets we can lead happier, more harmonious lives with the animals we love.  The title of the book refers to the dog door which Kerasote had installed in his home in order to give Merle the freedom to come and go as he pleased.  The desire to roam, Kerasote states, is innate in dogs and should be encouraged rather than prevented.  While it's often impossible for pet owners to allow their pets to have the kind of freedom which Merle enjoyed during his lifetime, I think all pet owners could learn something from this book.  Even if we can't give our pets total freedom, giving them more of it could prevent the depression and neurosis which has become so widespread in domestic dogs.  As a dog owner and lover I found this book illuminating and beautiful.  It has definitely changed the way that I will work with my dog in the future.

To my fellow dog lovers, do you have any recommendations for other books about dogs?

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