From Publishers Weekly
Kerasote, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award, draws on inspirational experiences with his beloved canine companion, Merle, and extensive research in animal behavior to advance the notion that living in harmony with our dogs requires us to embrace—rather than suppress—their natural instincts. Patrick Lawlor delivers an animated performance, both literally and figuratively. His renderings of Merle's incessant pants of enthusiasm evoke the essence of canine loyalty. Lawlor successfully navigates the potentially tricky terrain of the book's anthropomorphism. He gives voice to Kerasote's human interpretations of Merle's expressions and behaviors in a manner that manages to preserve a healthy measure of mystery and wonder. Lawlor does slightly over-reach with regard to his performance of relatively extraneous human dialogue, especially some of the ethnic accents of experts that Kerasote quotes in the text. While not all pet owners may be able to grant the degree of freedom that Kerasote afforded Merle, this heartwarming story will still manage to enlighten and entertain fans of four-legged memoirs.
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When an abandoned dog tags along with Ted Kerasote on a rafting trip, its the start of a long life-changing experience, with a learning process that goes both ways. Patrick Lawlor seamlessly portrays Kerasote, who shares personal anecdotes about his dog, Merle, and ruminates on the history of the relationship between dogs and humans. Lawlor puts plenty of laugh-out-loud moments into the anecdotes and keeps the history lively, too. He even comes up with a good voice for Merle in Kerasotes conversations with the dog. By the time listeners get to Merles later years, they will share the bond Kerasote has with him. J.A.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine