We are introduced to Buck, a St. Bernard and Scotch shepherd mix. He lived at Judge Miller's place with other dogs, in Santa Clara Valley, California. "Buck lived at a big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley."
Buck gets kidnapped by Manuel while on a stroll. Manuel wanted to pay off his gambling bet. "And with the exception of a solitary man, no one saw them arrive at the little Flag station known as college parks."
Buck gets sold to Perrault and Francois, as well as Curly. Curly is a Newfoundland breed. Perrault and Francois are both French-Canadian. "Curly and he were taken below by Perrault and turned over to a black-faced giant called Francois."
Buck had left his home, leaving with Curly, Francois and Perrault. He left the warm southland on a ship called the Narhwhal. "And as Curly and he looked at receding Seattle from the deck of the Narwhal, it was the last he saw of the warm Southland."
Buck was mad at one of the dogs for stealing his meal, and as Buck tried to attack the dog, Francois whipped him. "As Buck sprang to punish him, the lash of Francois's whip sang through the air, reaching the culprit first; and nothing remained to Buck but to recover the bone..."
Buck experiences his first snow, which had understandably confused him at first. "The onlookers laughed uproariously, and he felt ashamed, he knew not why, for it was his first snow."