Donald McCaig was born in Butte, Montana in 1940. He received a BA in philosophy from Montana State University in 1963 and completed postgraduate studies in shepherding and sheepdogs. He won the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction for Jacob's Ladder and Canaan. His other works include Rhett Butler's People and Ruth's Journey, which were both authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate. He also writes about his experience raising sheepdogs in Mr. and Mrs. Dog: Our Travels, Trials, Adventures, and Epiphanies.