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    Thread: Merle's Door

    1. #1
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      Bridget's Avatar
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      Merle's Door

      I just reread this book, as my GSD turned 13 and I felt like I needed to. However, it is one of two books I have that never fails to make me cry no matter how many times I read it. Just wondering who else has read this book and if you love it as much as I do? Also, I would like others' take on the free roaming dog concept, as well as the author, after reading it. Any thoughts?

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      I read it and liked it. I'm not a fan of free roaming dogs in today's society. Back when I was a kid, the dogs in the neighborhood were not fenced in, free to roam. However, found that not many of them wandered far from home. Everyone knew everyone's dog. Too much danger in today's world.

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      I didn't read Merle's Door, but I read Pukka's Promise. I was very angry with the author when I read that he allowed his dogs to roam free. I find it hypocritical. He wants his dog to live a long, healthy life, he tossed the toys which proved to have "bad" chemicals in them, feeds his dog exclusively organic meat, leaves his dog intact because it's believed to increase the dog's longevity, yet lets him roam free? What if he gets into something? What if some neighbour feeds him something that is "bad for dogs"? What if a stray female in heat walks into the village? What if he gets lost because he smelled a female in heat from many miles away?

      Free roaming isn't the only way for a dog to enjoy its walk. I know he hikes with his dogs and is a very active person. Why let the dog roam free? It's unnecessary and dangerous.

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      Yes, it does seem like it is contradictory, doesn't it? You ought to read Merle's Door, though, as it is a great book. I think the little town he lives in is so very tiny and everyone knows each other and it is pretty much condoned by everyone, very different from most people's situations. In a perfect world, great, but most of us don't live there. I thought Pukka's Promise was not nearly as good as Merle's Door. In fact, I read it, but did not buy it.

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      We let Mocha run free...under our careful supervision inside his invisible fence It scares me to think of dogs roaming free. There are so many dangers, city and country. Even though they are descendants of wolves, they are not wild animals. I'm descendant of Irish immigrants, but I don't speak Gaelic

      I haven't read this book, but it sounds interesting. I'll put it on my list.

    8. #6
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      You all haven't been to Kelly, WY have you? LOL! It is a different world from us. It was even more so when Merle was first brought there. If you haven't lived in a town that tiny and removed from a large city, it's hard to imagine. I imagine his book has brought some notoriety and traffic to the town, and that would make me nervous nowadays. It's my favorite dog book.

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      I know it's very rural, but in Pukka's promise he mentions 2 dogs he saw for the first time running after a truck - so dogs that are not from the village do appear. An intact dog can smell a female in heat from many miles away and get lost. Someone can feed the dog something that it isn't supposed to eat, or it can get into some other sort of trouble. It's not just traffic that is the danger nowadays for free-roaming dogs.

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      Nope, never been to Kelly! I am unsure whether Pukka has as much freedom as Merle did. It would scare me also, but at the same time, it sounds like an idyllic life for a dog and I wish it were possible for my dogs. That kind of freedom wouldn't be feasible for most families because of location and other factors. Also, the way we acquired our dogs. I think when you seek out and pay for a dog, regardless of shelter or breeder, you feel more responsible for that dog's outcome than when a dog just follows you home. I don't mean you love the dog more, it's just a different attitude. Does that make sense at all?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
      I am unsure whether Pukka has as much freedom as Merle did.
      Unfortunately, he has.

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      I read the book and loved it! Yes, I had a few nervous breakdowns that the dog was running free, but everybody in that town knew this dog and I'm sure was on the lookout. I personally did not agree with how the owner let the ending happen, but to each their own on that.

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