Study Guide

Island of the Blue Dolphins Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

  • After the Aleutian massacre, the pack of wild dogs grew larger and became pretty fearless. The leader is bigger than the rest, with yellow eyes. Karana thinks he must be an Aleutian dog, since she'd never seen him before.
  • Karana starts working on her plan to get rid of the dog pack and its leader. She gathers materials to make a fire outside their cave when they are out.  Then, when the dogs return, she sets it on fire.
  • The dogs come out only once the fire dies down. Karana doesn't take a shot until the leader comes out. Once she sees him, she sends an arrow right into his chest. She shoots a second, but it misses.  She grabs her spear and moves in on the leader, but he's now gone.
  • Karana enters the cave to find a female dog and a litter of pups. She leaves them be and sets out in search of the leader.
  • Karana finds the broken shaft of her arrow and some dog tracks, but they lead nowhere. She can't find the leader.
  • After two days of rain, Karana finally finds the leader behind a big pile of rocks with a piece of broken arrow in his chest. She starts to use her spear on him, and then decides to use her bow.
  • She can't bring herself to fire a shot, though. Why not? She doesn't seem to know.
  • Karana eventually decides to pick up the wounded dog and carry him home. There, she removes the tip of the arrow and cleans his wound with a "peeled stick from a coral bush" (15.27).
  • Karana gives the dog water and leaves to gather food. He's still there when she returns. She cleans his wound again.
  • He looks at her for the first time.
  • She gives him more water.
  • Karana sleeps on the rock since she's afraid of the dog. She spears some fish and gives him one. Every day he waits for her to feed him a fish.
  • On the fourth day, the dog is not waiting for Karana when she returns from fishing  She calls out "Dog" for him.
  • She finds him inside the house. He wags his tail at her. Looks like someone has a new friend.
  • That night Karana doesn't sleep on the rock, but instead in the house. She decides to name the dog "Rontu," which means "Fox Eyes" (15.37).

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