This week seems to be the perfect time to tell you about Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog because with the granddogs visiting it's non-stop bark, run, and play around here. My boys think Stella the bulldog is heavenly. Pauly is more standoffish and difficult, so he hangs out more with me, and that's fine with Grandma.
By chance, writer Ted Kerasote comes across the dog he names Merle, and he sets out trying to insist that Merle obey his commands and conform to life as a typical dog. He soon learns that Merle prefers to make his own decisions. The two end up of teaching each other.
After Merle settles in with Ted, Merle quickly become known as The Mayor in their small town as he makes his daily rounds visiting his friends and checking up on everyone.
I kind of skimmed some of the stuff about how we should let our dogs live the free dog life, doing as they see fit as long as they don't chase cattle, because after Harper got out of the yard last summer and slipped away, watching him cross a busy street with traffic coming at him horrified me. I thank God for bringing Harp the Herald Angels Sing back to me.
We don't all live in a small town in Wyoming where our dogs can have doggie doors and go in and out and do as they please.
However, I enjoyed Merle and Ted's adventures together tremendously, and the book has some lovely photos. Ted seems to be a good writer AND a pretty hot guy (he was once making sweet, sweet love to a lady when Merle tried to help out and the lady asked if he really had to do everything with his dog), and Merle, quite obviously, was a beautiful, sensitive, intelligent, fun-loving dog.
I say WAS because of course Merle dies in the end. Get out the boxes of Kleenex and Puffs -- no Scott tissues, too rough on the nose for a weeper like Merle's Door.
I couldn't help loving the relationship that develops between Ted and Merle, and I think you will too.
I suggest you put Merle's Door on your summer reading list. The book could make a fun movie, but Hollywood, please don't cast Owen Wilson as Ted. He already played Marley's dad in Marley and Me, a cute movie, but I liked the book by John Grogan much better. Perhaps Tom Hanks could be Ted.
Infinities of love and dogs,