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I just finished reading Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote and would like to see photos or videos of the area in Chamonix where dogs are allowed to roam freely. I Googled to no avail. Can anyone help me out? Also, if anyone has been to the Chamonix dog commons, I'd love to hear about your experience.
 

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Sorry I can't help with that, but just wanted to say how much I LOVED that book! I loved 'Marley and Me' for it's entertainment value, but 'Merle's Door' was amazing.
 

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I loved that book! And it made me think differently about stimulating my dogs every chance I get, since they cannot roam free like Merle. I even own the library copy now since my own free-thinking dog (who has NEVER ruined anyone's possessions in our home) decided to take a chunk out of the corner of the book while I was out feeding the chickens one day! Nice book though...
 

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Yeah, after reading that book, I'm having serious reservations about ever getting another dog unless I can give him/her freedom and stimulation similar to what Merle got. It seems pretty inhumane to leave a dog indoors by itself all day, no matter how many toys it has. My own Maltese, whom I had to put to sleep about six weeks ago, led an idyllic life for the most part, but I can't help but wonder how much happier he might have been if he'd been allowed to explore on his own. He did at least get to make his own "mayoral rounds" through the cul de sac, though. All the neighbors knew him, and most fed him.

My dog had a sister who belonged to my relatives, and who used to come for visits. They adored each other. I never felt so bad about having to leave him home all day when she was there. I think having two dogs who are very closely bonded might be the best solution for people whose circumstances make it impossible to allow a dog free reign of the outdoors. At least there's *some* stimulation, some interaction, going on.
 

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I don't have any information on the Chamonix Dog Commons. That said, I am currently reading Merle's Door and while I'm enjoying the book much more than I enoyed Marley & Me, I can't say as I'm convinced about how wonderful it is for a dog to enjoy so much freedom. I have done quite a bit of adventuring with my dogs, off leash, sailing, kayaking, hiking, camping and mountain biking all over the country. Even so, I would never consider allowing any dog of mine to stray out of sight while we're out and about, and I don't care how peaceful and dog loving a place we might live in, or how wise to the world I think my dogs might be, they will never be allowed to wander loose about town like Merle. There many ways in which one can stimulate their dogs and enrich their daily lives, and I find my dogs enjoy our games and sport training just as much as they enjoy our outdoor adventures together, even with restricted access to ensure as much safety for them as possible.
 
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