Jack London’s classic novella, The Call of the Wild, tells the story of Buck, a large and powerful St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix who is stolen from his home in California and sold to spend his life as a sled dog in Alaska during the late 1890s Klondike Gold Rush. One of Buck’s fellow sled dogs is a smaller dog named Dolly, who dies partway through the story. But what exactly happened to Dolly?
At one point during their journey, Buck and his team of sled dogs were chased by a pack of wolves. As they ran for their lives, Dolly was not able to keep up with the rest of the team and was left behind. Though she survived being left behind by outrunning her pursuers, she became ill shortly afterwards. She was found to be suffering from pneumonia and died shortly afterwards even though her owners did everything they could to save her.
While this may seem depressing or tragic in nature, it serves an important purpose within London’s narrative. Her death serves as a reminder that nature can be cruel and unforgiving—something that Buck learns firsthand as he struggles to survive in his new environment. It also serves as a reminder that while some animals may have been domesticated over thousands of years, they still retain many of their wild instincts that can help them survive in difficult situations such as these.