Throughout Buck’s adventure he goes through many obstacles, being kidnapped, going from owner to owner, and all the dogs he had encounters with. Even though being a house dog and having everything he needs right there where he needs it, the adventure he goes through changes him and makes him stronger. After being kidnapped Buck didn’t know what to do, but during that time he learned and he found out how to survive in the new world he has to live in. The least event that transformed Buck was the encounters with the many dogs, because not many of them did things to really change him. I think the one that really changes him was being passed down from owner to owner. Buck was passed from one owner being so kind and loving, to two that hit and beat him to get their way, to some who are complete imbeciles who know nothing about sledding, to end up with a great owner who loves him and shows him what love really is.
Buck lived a privilege before being kidnapped, just be the description of the house he lived in you knew he was living a good life, “Buck lived at a big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley…it stood back from the road, half-hidden among the trees through which it glimpses could be caught of the wide cool verandah that ran around its four sides” (2). Living in a big house like that who wouldn’t be privileged, but after being sold for money to suffice someone’s gambling addiction he would really have to learn the ropes of living in a whole new environment. Buck had to get use to living in the cold; he learned how to survive by watching the other dogs, and learning how to stay warm, and to eat fast.
The encounters with the many dogs that came and went, he knew what he had to do just by watching them. Buck wasn’t a fighter, after what happened to his acquaintance Curly, London says, “…Curly was the victim. …There was no warning, only a leap in like a flash, a metallic clip of teeth, a leap out equally swift, and Curly’s face was ripped open from eye to jaw.” (18) He knew he couldn’t be knocked down off his feet during a fight or the same thing would happen to him. He had to be quick on his feet, and had to be one step a head of the rest of the dogs. Spitz helped him transform the most I think, because Spitz was the biggest bully of them all he treated Buck like he was dirt. Buck didn’t like that and he finally stood his ground and acted like the leader he soon became. He took down Spitz with strategy and Spitz didn’t know what hit him. I think the other dogs didn’t really help him transform besides Spitz, even though there were many dogs Buck encountered they either weren’t there long enough or they died.
All the owners Buck had, the Judge, the French Canadian, the three idiots that didn’t know how to sleigh, and Thornton helped him transform. Even though the judge was his first real owner, it starts with Perrault and Francois because they were the ones that bought him to help pull their sled. Buck has never worked a day in his dog years, but “François fastened upon him an arrangement of straps and buckles…so he was set to work, hauling François on a sled to the forest that fringed the valley” (19). Buck felt like one of the horses at home, he had to learn how to work and become a team player, which helped him become the dog he was at the end of the book. Perrault and Francois they were good owners, they knew how to take care of the dogs in the type of weather they were traveling in, and Buck got the hang of being out there thanks to them. Thornton the best owner out of all of them, because he saved Buck from Hal, London says “John Thornton stood over Buck, struggling to control himself, too convulse with rage to speak. ‘If you strike that dog again, I’ll kill you,’ he at last managed to say in a choking voice” (86) from then on he took care of Buck and showed him what true love was for a dog.
Thornton showed much love and compassion for his dogs and Buck admired that, he respected Thornton and wanted to stay and protect him. Buck never wanted to leave Thornton even after hearing the wild call to him, he went back to him because he knew that Thornton loved him and that changed him.