Doggy Detectives! Week 5 Discussion 🐶

Pages 29 - 34

Story 1: 消えたデミキン事件

Start Date: 4th May
Last Week: Case Part 4
Next Week: Solution Part 1


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This is the final part of the “case” section for Story One!

We now - in theory - have all the clues needed to solve the case ourselves. In the next section we’ll be taken through the resolution of the case.


Please post your theories :grin:

I’m asking everyone to put their theory behind a details tag, and then people can post their own theory before reading others’ (and agreeing or disagreeing!).


This is the markup you need to use:


Write your theory here!


I haven’t really looked myself yet, but from my experience with Kitty Detectives I would recommend studying the pictures as well as the words :wink:


I did not start reading pages yet.

Story ending guess

The fish was stolen by the neighbour so that he can put it into his fishing pond.


You don’t have a come up with a theory before you’ve finished reading! :joy:


I’m finding these few pages a lot easier, probably since I kind of know what’s happening and the vocab is familiar.

Ive only got to page 33 but this is my (part) theory for the solution:


Tobo Tobo the dachshund is the culprit! His owner hit a golf ball through the door and into the room with the goldfish, maybe even into the bowl. Spitz had trained the dog to retrieve golf balls, so he did! He broke the bowl, if not already broken, and brought back the ball, plus possibly the goldfish too. That’s why Bowbo was sniffing around the dachshund so much.

I reckon the goldfish is now in Akita’s pond, either because it flopped its own way there, or the dachshund‘s owner threw it in there.


Okay, I just went through the pages myself.

First, some thoughts from page 29 - he doesn’t half teach some complex manouvres, does he?! Not that it’s particularly difficult to teach a dog to fetch a golf ball, but between that and the pomeranian which learnt to do handstands I’m wondering if we’ll ever come across a dog he just gave some basic obedience training to :joy:

@Cathm2 - that’s good to hear - I think it’s very much the case that as you progress through each story the comprehension becomes a bit smoother, because you build up that context and specific vocabulary.

okay, time for my theory!

I think that Yamagata smashed a golf ball into Kaneyama’s house, breaking the goldfish bowl. Tobotobo then very oblingingly fetched the golf ball, hence it no longer being in the room - or alternatively Tobotobo broke the bowl when he bounded in, which would explain why everything had already disappeared by the time Kaneyama investigated after hearing the crash (although we don’t explicitly know she heard the crash, and she was vacuuming at the time!).

I’m not exactly sure what might have happened to the goldfish, although presumably Tobotobo took it - I suppose a demekin is about the size and shape of a golf ball!

I just hope Tobotobo didn’t eat it :fearful:



After saying I was understanding most of this, I got stuck on the following construction:


I’m not sure if it’s another variant of the “not there/ not-being” of the goldfish?




One of those phrases made up of a plethora of little bits :sweat_smile: so, from the left:

いなく - this is the verb いる, “to be”, negated to いない, and then the い swapped out for a く to combine it with…

なって - this is the verb なる, “to become”, conjugated to て-form

しまった - this is しまう, “to do completely; to do regretfully”, in the past tense

The latter is probably “to do completely” in this context, although it’s also regretful that the goldfish disappeared :grin:

いなくなる together literally translates as “to become not; to become non-existent; to become not [here]”. We’d be more likely to say “to disappear” in English!

So altogether we have “the goldish completely disappeared”.


I agree with your theory, that is what came to my mind as I was reading.

As for the goldfish

Since Tobotobo can retrieve golf balls, maybe he’s quite intelligent and realised the goldfish can’t live without water and deposited it in Akita’s pond, it did mention a few pages back that the pond was too murky to see what was inside it, so the goldfish could be there…

It seems like a bit of a stretch but it is a children’s book so, happy endings and all…


Is this a hint? His master can’t fit through the grille but maybe a dog can? The absence of fingerprints in the room, the way Bobo sniffs at Tobotobo, and the specific choice of a daschund for the storyline with its thin body - I like the idea that dog went into the room to retrieve the ball.

Where is the door with the grille on the map. Red or green? I thought it was red at first which would make hitting a golf ball from the house opposite quite tricky! But on page 11 it looks like we can see the grille next to the front door so it must be green.

But where’s the fish? Is it really retrieved by the dog? It feels like it should be in the murky pond.

I guess there could be two incidents - maybe Akita stole the fish using his rod, and then Yamagata broke the bowl with a golf ball and the dachshund retrieved?


It is fun to see that after 123 posts to the first chapter - most about vocab/grammar - the attention now switched to solving the puzzle as we are now down from 40 to 13 readers. I am, personally, still struggling to recognise kanjies written in hiragana. Also trying to understand if my unfinished N4 Bunpro level is holding me back or not.


I know what you mean about the kanji. I think this book is quite a nice balance though between lots of kanji, and a wall of kana.

I figure in real life people don’t speak in kanji, so you need to be able to recognise the words without them. In fact my anki vocab deck is specifically set up to show me kana rather thank kanji.

My main listening practice comes from japanesepod101 lessons and watching Terrace House on Netflix. It’s always frustrating when I don’t recognise a word spoken, and then realised its a word I’ve learned in kanji from Wanikani.

Your point about grammar is a good one. The more familiar you are with Japanese grammar, the easier it is to parse the sentences, even where you don’t know the vocab.


I’ve only just started making progress again with N4 Bunpro after a break, and definitely finding points I’m learning have been cropping up in the book.

Having said that, I’m quite early on (I’ve only done maybe 1/6 of N4].

My theory

My money is still on 山形さん breaking the bowl (as per my Week 2 guess):

  • the open glass doorway is directly opposite where 山形さん practices golf
  • トボトボ has been trained to fetch golf balls, so that is why there wasn’t a ball found in the sitting room
  • on p18, it is stipulated that 人聞はとおれない - using 人間(にんげん) instead of (ひとり) is for me a strong hint that another species of animal (such as a Dachshund) could (and did) pass through

As for the goldfish, the picture on p34 shows it bouncing, and the ‘map’ of the neighbourhood on p15 shows 秋田さん’s pond to be nearby. Could it have flopped it’s way into the pond? We know from p25 that the pond is very muddy, so neither スピッツ nor 黒星けいぶ would have been able to see it in there when they interviewed 秋田さん.


It does make it really hard - though it’s kind of encouraging to realise that you want kanji in the text, right? It’s good practice for parsing sentences, but definitely frustrating as a beginner. That’s the thing though - there’s really no holy grail of native material which is both simple and has enough kanji (or at least, not that I’ve found).

And yes, it’s always encouraging to see people need to ask fewer questions as they get comfortable. I’m surprised we haven’t had more questions though :thinking:


I’m fascinated so far to read everybody’s different theories on where the goldfish ended up and how - it’s always interesting when we don’t actually have consensus. Now, will it be that the book simply didn’t give us the information we really needed, or is it a genuinely puzzling one?


Hi everyone!:slight_smile: I’m alive and yet again came in search of help^^“”"

Would anyone mind translating this sentence? I get most of the words, but can't seem to connect them correctly


Page 31

The natural translation in English is something like: After pulling away Bobo, who was still playing with Tobutobu, myself and the detective together returned to Kaneyama’s house.

The long clause from まだ to いる all modifies the word ボーボ.


Ah, I think I got it now! Thank you!!

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Claerwen had a question about page 29 that they initially thought was page 28, so it got posted in last week’s discussion thread - just cross-posting it here in case any future readers are looking for help on the same sentence:



Wooop woop ! made it to the end of first case. Onto the solution! I was thinking the dachsund went to get the golfball and saw the fish and ate em first… then I remembered it is a kids book so idk where the dang fish is. I am pretty sure though the golf ball broke the bowl and the dog got it at least. Explaining why no fingerprints or scents. Well, Ill soon find out, thanks again everyone. I hope to finish the other case by this weekend so I will be all caught up for when yall start the third case!