I heard from Ted Kerasote, author of Merle's Door yesterday. If you haven't read Merle's Door yet you have missed out on probably the best dog book in the world. You can hear an interview with Ted about his book in Episode 64 of DogCast Radio. It is an interweaving of Merle's biography with fascinating research, all permeated by the love story of Ted and Merle.
Ted now shares his life with another dog, called Pukka. Like Merle, Pukka is inspiring Ted to write, and here's some news about some upcoming books from Ted in his own words:
The first book will be out in the fall of 2010 and is called Pukka: The Pup After Merle. It contains about 200 photographs accompanied by captions written by Pukka himself. (His name, by the way, means "genuine" or "first class" in Hindi and is pronounced as in puck.) The book describes Pukka's and my meeting, his coming to Wyoming, and the first six months of his life as he goes from a tiny puppy to a young dog. He learns how to interact with Kelly's other canines, with wildlife, and with a person who believes that training involves partnership as well as rules. And, of course, he learns how to use Merle's door, now Pukka's door. Stunning images of Pukka in Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, on the River of No Return, and on the Pacific Ocean bring to life his and my thoughts on how to best raise a puppy.
The second book, called Why Dogs Die Young and What We Can Do About It, will be published in the fall of 2011. It recounts how I got over Merle's death and explains why dogs lead such relatively short lives. Using stories of Merle that did not appear in Merle's Door, as well as incidents from the first two years of Pukka's life, it weaves narrative and science to describe how nutrition, vaccinations, environmental pollutants, and genetics all conspire to shorten or lengthen a dog's life span. Much of the information in Why Dogs Die Young is groundbreaking and will change our ideas on how we can raise dogs in the healthiest way possible.
More details about the books, as well as photos of Pukka, plus a new page of text and photos on winter and skiing in the Tetons, can be found on my redesigned website: www.kerasote.com.