In "To Build a Fire," what are the three things the dog knew by instinct?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The dog's instincts tell him that it is too cold to be out on the trail, a truth that eludes the man until it is too late. The dog also knows that he must avoid getting wet, and when he does get his paws wet, he instinctively bites the ice away to keep them from freezing. When the man plans to kill the dog, the animal senses the fear in his voice and behavior and eludes him. Finally, the dog knows instinctively that fire and its warmth mean security and survival. When the man fails to rekindle his fire and consequently freezes to death, the dog leaves him to go find another fire. The dog's instincts in this natural environment proved to be far superior to the man's human intelligence and faulty judgment.

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