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Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog [Kindle Edition]

Ted Kerasote
5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)

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From Publishers Weekly

Kerasote, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award, draws on inspirational experiences with his beloved canine companion, Merle, and extensive research in animal behavior to advance the notion that living in harmony with our dogs requires us to embrace—rather than suppress—their natural instincts. Patrick Lawlor delivers an animated performance, both literally and figuratively. His renderings of Merle's incessant pants of enthusiasm evoke the essence of canine loyalty. Lawlor successfully navigates the potentially tricky terrain of the book's anthropomorphism. He gives voice to Kerasote's human interpretations of Merle's expressions and behaviors in a manner that manages to preserve a healthy measure of mystery and wonder. Lawlor does slightly over-reach with regard to his performance of relatively extraneous human dialogue, especially some of the ethnic accents of experts that Kerasote quotes in the text. While not all pet owners may be able to grant the degree of freedom that Kerasote afforded Merle, this heartwarming story will still manage to enlighten and entertain fans of four-legged memoirs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Merle showed up at the San Juan River at the same time Kerasote and his river-rafting friends arrived. Merle looked at Kerasote as if to say, "You need a dog, and I'm it." He accompanied the group down the river and then went home to Wyoming with Kerasote. A dog who was eager to please and almost trained himself, Merle learned the ways of bison, ground squirrels, and coyotes. Merle then taught Kerasote the fullness of the hunt, leading Kerasote to his favorite prey. But, after Kerasote installed a dog door, the main thing Merle taught him is that a dog develops to his full potential, becoming the dog he was meant to be, when allowed to make his own decisions. Merle developed a life of his own, patrolling the small settlement where they lived with his dog companions, and yet was always very aware of Kerasote and his schedule. In telling Merle's story, Kerasote also explores the science behind canine behavior and evolution, weaving in research on the human-canine bond and musing on the way dogs see the world. Merle is a true character, yet Merle is also Everydog. An absolute treasure of a book. Bent, Nancy


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein ganz besonderes Hundebuch! 13. Januar 2012
Von kashia
"Merle's Door: Lessons from a freethinking dog" ist eines der Hundebücher, das ich jedem Hundebesitzer empfehlen kann, der sich für Mensch-Hund Beziehungen interessiert und gleichzeitig eine kurzweilige biographische Story rund um den Outdoor-Menschen, Ted Kerasote, und seinen Labrador-Mischling Merle lesen möchte. Der Autor entführt den Leser in die Kleinstadt Kelly in Wyoming am Rande des Grand Teton National Parks, wo das Zusammenleben eher von den Naturgesetzen und weniger von Gesetzesbüchern geprägt ist. So drehen die Hunde eigenständig ihre Runden durch den Ort und aufgrund fehlender Zäune und damit wenig Territorialverhalten funktioniert das auch reibungslos.
Merle selbst wird als ca. 10 Monate alter Junghund von Ted bei einem seiner Outdoor-Trips in der Wüste Utahs als wild lebender Hund gefunden und folgt ihm von da an auf Schritt und Tritt. Die beiden werden zu Weggefährten und durch ihr enges Zusammenleben ermöglicht Merle Ted Einblicke in die Welt der Hunde, die nicht nur sehr interessant und aufschlussreich sind, sondern auch mit aktuellen wissenschaftlichen Studien und Verhaltenstests untermauert werden (die Referenzliste im Anhang des Buchs listet viele auch hier bekannte wissenschaftliche Werke auf). Auch wenn einige Ansichten und Aktivitäten des Autors (etwa die gemeinsamen Jagdausflüge) nicht meine Sympathie haben, so ist es insgesamt ein sehr gelungenes Buch und wenn Ted Kerasote von dieser besonderen engen Verbundenheit spricht, wenn er gemeinsam mit Merle in wunderschöner Wildniss und Natur unterwegs ist, dann ist das sehr gut nachvollziehbar - zumindest wenn man selbst oft ähnliche Erlebnisse mit seinem hündischen Wegbegleiter hat - wenn auch manchmal nur im Großstadtdschungel ;-).
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Not just interesting but an educational read 21. Januar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Subtle tips which sticks in my mind more about dog behavior as the author incorporated the "whys" and the "because" into his writing. Definitely allows me to understand my own dog more. Enjoyed the story, made me laugh at the dog's thoughts and tactics, as we at home thought that our dog was thinking similar thoughts as Merle, and it made me cry at the end as it brought on memories of our own dog's recent passing.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  1.091 Rezensionen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful Story Masterfully Written 5. Juli 2007
Von M. L Lamendola - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"Wow. What a book." These are the words that I breathed out when I reached the end of Merle's Door.

Ted Kerasote is to writers what Mozart is to composers. His writing is that good. If he were to write about how the grass grew in his yard over summer, I have no doubt it would be a page-turner.

But that's not the story he wrote. This story is so much more. This unforgettable story begins when a big golden dog emerges from the dark to introduce himself to a small group of people camping in the desert. One of those people was Ted Kerasote, and the dog went home with him. As the story unfolds, we are taken on an amazing journey that goes well beyond "a boy and his dog."

Good relationships are built on mutual respect, and this relationship was better than most. This book is the story of that relationship. These two were the best of friends, and this account of their life together shows how each grew and learned from the other. Love, patience, and understanding are evident throughout the book.

At times, this book is humorous, and at other times it's instructive. But always, it's interesting. One of the lessons Merle taught Ted was that great things can happen if humans will change their behavior instead of always trying to change the behavior of their dogs. The prevailing wisdom is that dogs must be trained and molded a certain way, and treated as though they have no independent powers of judgment. Merle proved this isn't so wise.

The problem is that people don't let their dogs grow up. They make the dog into a perpetual child, and then are surprised when anxiety surfaces in the form of behavior problems. But how would you feel if you always had someone telling you what to do, and not letting you make any decisions on your own? This treatment, while often well-intended, disables a person. It disables dogs as well.

Ted suggests loving in a different way, one that provides more personal freedom and is less about controlling the dog. He says, "His (Merle's) lessons weren't about training, but about partnership. They were never about method; they were about attitude."

The partnership between these two took them on a far different path from one they would have taken if, for example, Ted had decided to make a bird dog out of Merle. Rather than make Merle into something to fit a desire of his own, Ted allowed Merle to be himself. And in so doing, Ted would eventually find his own deep needs met in ways that he could not have predicted. This made for a story worth telling and one definitely worth reading.

In addition to providing us with a wonderful story masterfully written, this book presents an impressive amount of science and technical information on a range of subjects. The list of sources runs 15 pages (in small print, at that). Yet, none of this seems out of place. Whether it's a quote from a biologist, an explanation of cognitive maps, or a summary of experiments with dolphins and mirrors, it's all good and it all fits. The wolf research is especially interesting. For anyone wishing to look up those facts after finishing the story, the extensive index will prove helpful.

This book has 18 chapters spanning 364 pages. Not a single one was wasted.
105 von 108 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The most touching book I've read in a long time... 10. Juli 2007
Von Lori Pritchett - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I bought this book knowing nothing about it or the author. I love dogs and had the love of my life dog pass away about 2 years ago. I've read Marley and Me and other dog books, but somehow they didn't come close to expressing the bond between man and dog as this book does so flawlessly. I read the book right away as we are now raising two puppies and I thought the book would be instructional. Wow. Although the book is instructional, it is so much more than that. This book touched me like nothing has in a long time. I finished it last night and I still can't think about it without choking up. What a life! It makes me want to go put my arms around the author and tell him I understand.
Bravo!! Well written. 5 stars. I loved it. I wish I had known Merle.
154 von 165 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Even if you have never loved a dog, read this book 29. Juni 2007
Von Jeffrey Capshew - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
First, the cold facts. Ted Kerasote has an uncanny ability to mix the sociology and history of dogs with humans and the very personal story of his life with his extraordinary Labrador mix, Merle, and makes it work like no other dog book I've read (and that's a lot of books). He is such a good writer that it's fun to read science part. But what really makes Merle's Door sing, or howl, is the poignant love story of Ted and Merle as they get to know more about each other over the years. Merle's story as told through Ted, who can put the words on the page since Merle could not, rings so true. When you read this book you are reading the story of two friends who share a life of adventure and love that is simply all too short. Millions of humans have had loving relationships with our canine halves, and never has it been so eloquently distilled in a single volume as this book. Read it, shed some tears of joy, give it to your friends, this is a magical book.
44 von 47 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Explosively Superb! 11. September 2007
Von agnes bonaparte - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book was UNBELIEVABLE. This was quite possibly the best book I have ever read. It was so intelligent, interesting, well written, suspenseful, insightful, heart rending and hilarious. I was up half the night AFTER I finished it contemplating its many facets. I cannot recommend this enough. Make no mistake, this is a story of deep, life changing friendship that few, if any, of us ever experience in our lives with anybody. It is a love story, and a tale of life's deepest lessons, told with such flair you cannot stop reading. Ted Kerasote is a man I would really like to meet. He is insightful and above all one of the most compassionate people I have ever read about. And what a life, full of excitement and adventure, and Merle is along for every experience, contributing his unique input at every opportunity.

I also admire a tale about letting your dog be a DOG and not treating it like a stuffed animal....i.e. carrying it around in a pocketbook like a fashion accessory. I only wish I could provide my dogs with a mountain range teeming with wildlife and a town full of other friendly people and dogs to romp with off leash.

I was literally sobbing at the end, and I felt this book opened my eyes in the sense that it brings home a point we all know but seldom think about. Life is so, so short for all of us, and if we pay attention, we can make sure our time on this earth is filled with happiness, earth shattering love, beauty, peace, and deep meaning if we let it.
32 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Magnificent 6. Dezember 2007
Von GMW - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I am a bit surprised by some of the negative reviews of this book, especially the chap that suggested that you "skip this book." If you skip it you will have missed a gem. It is not a dog training book or a "treatise on animal behavior" as someone suggested. It is the telling of a thirteen year relationship between a man and a dog and the life that they shared together. The author intersperses the narrative with research that support his observations over the years. He makes no attempt to state that his research and conclusions are absolute or scientific findings;just the results of asking questions and having a curious mind. You will laugh, you will cry and you will be left with a special feeling of being allowed to vicariously share the life of Ted and Merle. Anyone who has loved and lost a great, special dog will understand and cherish the book.
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The only thing that consistently improved rats' neural development was the freedom to roam a large, object-filled space. &quote;
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Does controlling a dog's life through micro-managing its behavior short-circuit its ability to think on its own? &quote;
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