cover artBibliographic Information
Title: Merle’s Door, Lessons from a Freethinking Dog
Author: Ted Kerasote
ISBN: Paperback: 978-0-15-101270-1
Publisher: Harcourt Publishing
Copyright: 2007

Book Details
Jacket Design:Linda Lockowitz
Formats: Hardcover
Audio CD
Page Count:398 p.

Plot Summary
While out camping, a stray yellow lab mix shows up. Ted and Merle hit it off and Ted decides he should take Ted home. But closed doors don’t work out well as Merle is used to being on his own. Ted lives in a rural area near the Teton National Park where leash laws don’t exist. He puts a dog door in the house and let’s Merle come and go on his own.

It is a charming book of cute dog stories and the community that minds Merle, the freethinker. If your goal is “No More Dead Dogs,” this book isn’t for you since it has a sad ending. But it does a good job of exploring real choices when faced with a cherished pet’s end of life.

It is a wonderful story of a great dog.

Critical Evaluation
A well written memoir about a special dog, Merle’s Door is a good read for people with or without pets. The freedom sought by Merle is something to which any person can relate.
Funny, joyful and touching at times, this story of the relationship between man and dog is a memoir worth reading, whether you own a dog or not.

Reader’s Annotation
A memoir layered with interesting research on dogs and their history, it is a wonderful book that brings to life a community, a dog, and the bond dogs have with humans.

Information about the Author
Ted Kerasote is the author of many books, including Out There: In The Wild in a Wired Age, which won the National Outdoor Book Award. Ted’s first nationally published story was in Outdoor Life when he was seventeen. His essays and photographs have appeared in a range of magazines including Audubon, Geo, Outside, National Geographic Traveler, Sports Afield, and The New York Times. His book Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and The Hunt is considered by many authorities to be the best and most evenhanded work on how both aboriginal and modern people treat wildlife. It is the first comprehensive analysis of the fossil-fuel costs of our diets, and it continues to be a primary text in many university bioethics courses.

Ted’s writing often tries to bridge the gap between seemingly reconcilable positions. His longtime home is in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but he continues to find joy in writing about new places and people.

Nonfiction Memoir

Curriculum Ties
Biology of Long Life
History of the Dog

Booktalking ideas
The Making of a Good Life

Reading Level/Interest Age
Interest Level: Age 14 and up.

Challenge Issues



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