Illustration of Buck in the snow with mountains in the background

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

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What condition were the dogs in when they arrived at Skagway from Dawson in The Call of the Wild by Jack London? Why?  

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At the beginning of chapter five, Buck and the other dogs on the sled team are completely exhausted when they arrive at Skaguay. London writes that the dogs were in a "wretched state" and were worn down from the arduous thirty-day journey. Buck had lost twenty-five pounds since the beginning of the journey and the other dogs on the sled team also lost a substantial amount of weight. London writes that Pike had injured his leg during the journey and Sol-leks was also limping when they arrived at Skaguay. Each of the dogs had sore paws and Dub was suffering from a wrenched shoulder-blade. The dogs never had an appropriate amount of time to rest between the journeys, which explains why they were in such terrible shape. Essentially, the dogs had no time to recover and had completely depleted their energy supplies. The narrator mentions that the dogs had traveled twenty-five hundred miles in less than five months and only had five days of rest during the last eighteen hundred miles of the journey. Tragically, Buck and his team are then sold to Hal and Charles, who are inexperienced settlers that turn out to be terrible owners.

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In The Call of the Wild by Jack London, the dogs and their drivers arrived at Skagway after a thirty day trek from Dawson. They were exhausted and down in weight because they had not had a proper rest. Many were limping, and Dub had a hurt shoulder. All of them had sore feet from toiling day after day, hour after hour along the trail. 

In Skagway, the men expected a long stay-over to rest, both for them and the dogs, but it was not to be. Already Buck was down from his usual one hundred forty pounds to about one hundred fifteen, so when he and his mates were sold and expected to start up once again in only three days, they were not well rested and ready. 

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