Thursday, January 10, 2008
Read Merle's Door
Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote is a great read-but then I am commenting from the perspective of dog person and outdoor enthusiast. The book opens with the author encountering Merle at a put-in for a long river run. He gives Merle, then an eight month old stray but friendly pup, the choice of accompanying the group. Merle chooses and the two are together for the next thirteen years. The author lives near Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the book is laced with tales of hikes and hunts (he characterizes himself as an ethical hunter and says the only meat he eats is that which he has hunted). He makes his living as a writer and his work has appeared in several national publications (e.g. Outside). His home is not actually Jackson Hole (where Dick Cheney owns a spread) but Allen, a smaller settlement for the relatively impecunious. Some dog training lore and researched speculation on the evolution of canid domestication is interspersed but not to a point of distraction from the primary narrative, Kerasote's relationship with Merle. Oh, don't worry, there is also reasonable devotion to the presence of human friends and a little about his love life.