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If you haven't read "Merle's Door" by Ted Kerasote, you've missed out on a treat. This is an amazing book that tells the story of a man and a dog living in harmony.
Ted met Merle when the dog was around ten months, and living wild in the Utah desert. Ted was on vacation taking a river trip, and Merle ended up travelling down the river with him and his friends. At the end of the trip a bond had been formed, and Merle accompanied Ted back to Wyoming.
Ted's home in Kelly is in the middle of a national park, and the dogs living there are afforded freedom which would be impractical in most areas. Having lived alone, Merle had become independent, and wanted to come and go on his own timetable. To enable this, Ted installed a dog door - Merle's door. Man and dog could then develop their own routine.