Being a dog from civilization, Buck's paws are not accustomed to the harshness of the trail, and François often has to bring Buck's food rations to him; finally, he makes a pair of moccasins which will fit over Buck's paws. They are a great relief to the dog. One morning, a surprising event occurs. The dog Dolly, a particularly mild-mannered dog, suddenly begins "a long, heartbreaking wolf howl," which indicates that she has suddenly gone mad. Frothing at the mouth and snarling, Dolly begins to chase Buck, who flees in confused terror from her. After plunging through the woods and through ice, with Dolly snarling only one leap behind him, Buck finally passes through the camp site, where François holds an ax, poised in his hand. Thus he does what he must: he smashes the ax down on the mad dog's head.
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