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one dog remained alive

When the Creature was spotted from the ship the day before, it was noted that his "sledge [was] drawn by dogs" (Letter 4.1), suggesting that he was able to cope with the conditions of ice-travel without danger to himself or his team of dogs. The fact that Victor says nothing whatsoever about his lost dogs is a subtly pointed, if silent, comment on his self-absorption. That he has only one dog remaining would have made his continuation across the ice, even if it had remained stable, almost impossible.