Merle's Door

Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

By Ted Kerasote
(Harvest Books, Paperback, 9780156034500, 398pp.)

Publication Date: April 2008

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

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.

About the Author
Ted Kerasote s books include the national bestseller Merle s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog and Out There, which won the National Outdoor Book Award. His essays and photographs have appeared in Audubon, Outside, and the New York Times, among other publications. Kerasote lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Discuss the book’s epigraph, regarding the effects of captivity on a wild animal. Do Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s words apply to the lives of pets you have known? To your life? To what extent do you live on a “leash”? 

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