The dog accompanying the man is much more aware of the direness of the situation than the man is. The dog knows that it is too cold to be traveling. The dog naturally understands what it means to be this cold, and has a natural instinct for survival. Whereas the man thinks that he can survive the cold by his intellect, the dog know instinctively how to survive. We see the dog's natural instinct several times, but the two most glaring are the dog's perception of the man's thought to kill him, and the dog actually running away from the man to seek warmth and shelter for himself. Throughout the story, the dog highlight's the man's hubris and naivety about the harshness of the cold. The man has ignored the wisdom of older settlers and his relying on himself to overcome the obstacle of the cold, but as the dog knows, this obstacle cannot be overcome.