Acts of Kindness

During the Klondike Gold Rush dogs

During the Klondike Gold Rush dogs were useful to many people as they helped their owners with their work. Dogs pulled sleds for dog owners so they could find gold, which is seen in Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. In the past, dogs weren’t treated well and seen badly by their owners. The modern treatment and views of dogs by their owners are seen in Sonja Steptoe’s “The Dogged Pursuit of Excellence.” Although dogs in the Klondike Gold Rush were treated and seen badly by their owners, now dogs are treated and seen better than they were.

To begin with, dog owners throughout time have seen the importance of different dog breeds. During the Klondike Gold Rush, dog race didn’t matter because dogs were always needed, but this led dogs from the warm climate to suffer when they had to live in the cold climate. London says “They (Dogs from the south) were all too soft, dying under the toil, the frost, and starvation (35).” Dogs in the past and now were both given a purpose to do in their life. Now, dogs are helped a lot because they have a purpose that is easy for them which is caused by selective breeding. Steptoe says, “Butcher (famous dog musher) breeds each dog for speed and endurance, and as they grow, she tries to instill in them the same drive, desire and determination found in her own deep well of those traits” (124). Dog breeding now is better than what it was in the past because dog owners breed dogs selectively.

Furthermore, dogs in the past and now were/are viewed as animals with different lifestyles. Dogs in the gold rush lived a lifestyle where they could be killed by other animals. London says, “There was no warning. … Curly’s (a dog) face was ripped from eye to jaw (15).” Dogs in the past and now both use their instincts to survive their environment. Now dogs have a lifestyle where there isn’t much danger, and they do what they can to protect their owner. Steptoe says, “Tekla (a dog in the present) kept trying to go off the trail …[and] I (the dog owner) let her go. Then, just as we pulled to the side, the trail collapsed into the river … [, and] she had a sixth sense that saved our lives (119)." A dog’s lifestyle now is viewed better than a dog’s past lifestyle in gold rush because now dogs help their owners by using their instincts.

Finally, the treatment of dogs when they do something wrong now is different than it was in the past. Dogs in the gold rush were beaten if they did something wrong. London says, “He (a dog) was aware the he was being beaten (74).” Throughout history dogs were punished if they did something wrong, but now dog owners are finding ways to help them. Now, dogs are given attention, so their owners can help them get through their problems. Steptoe says, “She (a famous dog musher) has been known to go on solo runs or campouts with a dog who is having problems (125).” Dog owners now can take care of dogs when they do something wrong compared to past actions.

Overall, dogs have been useful in the present and in the Klondike gold rush. They have always been needed and will continue to be needed. Although past views and treatment for dogs have been negative, now there have been new ways to treat dogs and see them as a good thing. Dogs have been affected by many actions of different people and now they are doing better when it comes to breeding, actions, and their punishments. Dogs now have a better life than they did in the past.

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