Doggy Detectives! Week 2 Discussion 🐶

Pages 12 - 17

Story 1: 消えたデミキン事件

Start Date: 13th April
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We see that かというと structure again! In the handwritten text on page 13…


Does nobody have any questions? :anguished:


I read this week’s pages last night and will be studing page 12 tonight (4 hours hence), so hold that thought! :grin:

The lovely folks who are filling in the vocab sheets are a boon - not just with new words, but it saves me time on incorrectly parsing something, too.


I have so many questions that I don’t know where to start so was waiting for someone else to!


Page 12

Well, no questions actually, though I will comment that I had never seen くらい after a verb before and had to look in A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar to read about such usage.

It was also interesting to learn of an additional meaning to 具合, a vocab item that I have at Enlightened level but only knew as condition.

Please go ahead and ask. Start anywhere: something you think you half understand but want to check; something you have no clue about; the first thing on the page you weren’t sure of.

To all the champs filling in the vocab sheet faster than I am getting to the pages to study, my ongoing gratitude :bowing_woman:. I hope to participate as soon as I manage to get a little ahead of the schedule.


I do! :raising_hand_woman:
Just want to check that I correctly understand this sentence:

Page 12

I unterstand this as (no real translation)

When you drop one drop of ink into a 25 meter pool, he [the dog] could still smell it.

But I don’t understand what the くらい is doing here? Is it translated as “to the extent that” in relation to how good the dog’s smell is?


Yes! It’s linked to his previous sentence (which I can’t remember exactly). In English it might look something like: “Bloodhounds have an excellent sense of smell. (It’s) to the extent that they can pick up a single drop of ink in a 25m pool.”

And yes, @Cathm2, somebody has to start :grin: (well, I guess Atani already has, haha). Just pick the very first thing you’re confused by, if you want!


Okay, thanks for clarifying.
Japanese word order really gets confusing sometimes.

@Cathm2 I made the first step, now it’s your turn :slightly_smiling_face: No need to be shy :slight_smile:


Well I guess on the topic of the ink - can dogs smell it?! Or is it more saying “it’s like being able to detect one drop of ink in a 25m pool”?


I think it’s more Spitz saying it’s something the dog could do. I found the below paragraph on this site Dogs' Dazzling Sense of Smell | NOVA | PBS

‘Put another way, dogs can detect some odors in parts per trillion. What does that mean in terms we might understand? Well, in her book Inside of a Dog , Alexandra Horowitz, a dog-cognition researcher at Barnard College, writes that while we might notice if our coffee has had a teaspoon of sugar added to it, a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth. Another dog scientist likened their ability to catching a whiff of one rotten apple in two million barrels.’

And Wikipedia does say that even among dogs a bloodhound has a particularly good sense of smell that makes them natural born trackers.


Much obliged! I get the usage of くらい now, but why is って there? If it were わかるくらい I could conceptualise it as a relative clause (‘To the extent, that …’), but って is throwing me off.

Page 14


I get the general gist of ふしぎなことに (something like ‘but strangely enough’), but what is に doing here specifically?

1 Like

Oooh, I didn’t spot that. I think it’s the quotation marker, here meaning something like “I hear that” or “it is said that”. So a better translation might be “to the extent that it’s said they can detect a single drop of ink in a 25m pool”.


I took it to be quotation as well, since Spitz is quoting a fact as such.

And that was what I understood that sentence to mean.


「ことに」as a suffix like here is used to expression your feelings or judgement.

So, I think this is essentially like saying “Strange to me, no one saw the suspect” or “I find it odd no one saw the suspect.”

Edit: This doesn’t answer the question of what the に is actually doing. I don’t know the specific breakdown of the usage of こと and に, only that this is the meaning conveyed.

Edit 2: Related thread: grammar - About the Meaning of 〜ことに〜 - Japanese Language Stack Exchange


I’ve read this book - fascinating stuff :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Just getting started on page 12. I’m working to breakdown the second and third sentences (sorry if this will be long, trying not to ask too many questions at once): 犬がすきで、ポメラニアンを飼っている。
The vocab list says: 飼う means to keep (a pet). Since there is no subject, I assume the owner is the policeman from the previous sentence? .
The 犬がすきで grammar was a little strange to me as well. I assume this is just tagging that he’s talking about a likable dog in the area?

For the 3rd Sentence (i rewrote this section a few times as writing out my thoughts gave me new perspective):
I break this down as:

以前、おれがそのポメラニアンを訓練して逆立ち means “I’ve previously trained this Pomeranian to do handstands.”

I’m assuming this sentence says The pomerian i trained to be able to do handstands was doing handstands. but that’s really just a guess. I’m not really sure how to tie the rest of the sentence together. especially with all the "が”s


Oh cool, that makes me want to read it now :blush:

Dogs are so awesome :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


This just means he likes dogs and then the rest of the sentence is as you said, it tells you he owns/keeps a Pomeranian and it is talking about the policeman from the previous sentence

I took the で in that sentence to mean ‘and’ but I might be wrong about that.

I understood the first part of the 3rd sentence the same way you did, That Spitz has previously trained that Pomeranian

The rest of that sentence, the way I broke it down was:


The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar says this is used when someone causes a circumstantial or behavioural change to take place. I understood it to be in this case that Spitz caused a change in training the dog to be able to do a handstand


Again, from the DoBJG ‘someone has done something/there was a time when~’
Someone might be able to explain it better but it just links in to Spitz training the dog, in saying that there was a time he trained the dog so that handstands were possible for it, or in more natural English, he trained the to dog so it can do handstands.

That’s my interpretation of it anyway, any corrections or thoughts appreciated :blush:


(I started this reply while DollyDaydream was finishing up, so I hadn’t read their response yet. Expect possible repeats of what they’ve covered.)

In English, you might say “I like dogs.” In Japanese, it’s more along the lines of “dogs are likable” or “dogs are favorable”. (The sentence is an “A is B” type sentence.) Typically it’ll be clear who has a favorable view of dogs, but if not then は can be used to clarify.

The context is around the policeman, Inspector Kuroboshi, thanks to the は in the prior sentence. (「そこにでてきたのは警視庁の黒星けいぶだ。」) Because of this, we know that 犬がすき is in context of Kuroboshi. The subject of 犬がすき is 犬, but the one for whom 「犬がすき」 applies to is the person being talked about, Kuroboshi. (In the words, you are correct, for these reasons.)

The したことがある tells us (the narrator) did something before, and the ように tells use he tried to make the action ように is attached to occur. So (close to what you wrote), he (the narrator) once trained Inspector Kuroboshi’s Pomeranian to do a handstand. This sets up why Kuroboshi knows Spitz: Kuroboshi likes dogs, and Spitz previously trained Kuroboshi’s Pomeranian to handstand. Note that the dog doing the handstand isn’t doing so right this moment. The drawing is just picturing what happened in the past.

There are a few clues.

  • できる leads into よう. This means you have a clause (I never remember the right term, but essentially a sentence embedded in a sentence) here. The embedded sentence is modifying よう.
  • した leads into こと. The embedded sentence is modifying こと.

Here’s how I visualize these “embedded sentences” which modify the word that follows them:


The innermost sentence: “Trained that Pomeranian to be able to do a handstand.”

The next sentence going outward: I tried to [inner sentence above]."

And the outermost sentence: “Previously, (I) did [inner sentences above].”

And all together: “Previously, I had taught that Pomeranian to handstand.”

で is the て form of だ, so you are correct that it’s essentially “and” here.