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Despite the happiness that Buck finds with Thornton, one cannot help but wait for something to change. London calls Buck "a wild dog who has come to sit by John's fire." Thornton holds him; "the rest of mankind is nothing." The image of Buck sitting by a fire does not convey a permanent place for him. He hears faint sounds in the forest that beckon to him. He keeps his instincts sharp and never forgets what he has become. One wonders whether Buck must heed the call he hears in order to find true happiness. John Thornton must decide the question, for clearly if Buck can find happiness with a master, he will find it with John Thornton. Buck maintains the "civilized" relationship between man and dog but he hears the call of the wild.