The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London, published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck. The story opens at a ranch in Santa Clara Valley, California, when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. He becomes progressively feral in the harsh environment, where he is forced to fight to survive and dominate other dogs. By the end, he sheds the veneer of civilization, and relies on primordial instinct and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild.
The story opens with Buck, a large and powerful St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix, living happily in California's Santa Clara Valley as the pampered pet of rich Judge Miller and his family. However, assistant gardener Manuel, in desperate need of money to finance his gambling addiction, steals Buck and sells him for a large, lucrative amount of cash. Buck is shipped to Seattle.