Donald Robert McCaig was born in Butte, Montana on May 1, 1940. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Montana. He served two years in the Marine Corps and pursued graduate studies at the University of Waterloo and Wayne State University. During the 1960s, he worked as a copy chief for an advertising agency in New York. In 1971, he bought a Virginia sheep farm.
He wrote historical novels, books about Border collies, and two authorized follow-ups to Gone with the Wind. His fiction works included Jacob's Ladder, Canaan, The Butte Polka, Nop's Trials, Nop's Hope, Rhett Butler's People, and Ruth's Journey. His nonfiction works included An American Homeplace; Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men; and Mr. and Mrs. Dog: Our Travels, Trials, Adventures, and Epiphanies. He died on November 11, 2018 at the age of 78.