Doggy Detectives! Week 6 Discussion 🐶

Pages 36 - 41

Story 1: 消えたデミキン事件

Start Date: 11th May
Last Week: Case Part 5
Next Week: Solution Part 2


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I have some questions :slightly_smiling_face:

Page 36


I’m always saying not to trust Japanese commas, but this seems such an odd break I want to sense-check with others - is this そんな directly talking about the 金魚ばち, do we think? “and yet that goldfish bowl, full of water, is quite heavy” I initially read it as Kaneyama just being a bit teary and incoherent, but I think this makes more sense.

[story-related interlude: really, Kuroboshi? an earthquake?!]

Page 37


This sentence baffles me. Firstly, it seems odd to say (heavily paraphrased) “why is he making a noise when I haven’t praised him?” - is… is that usually the only reason dogs make noises??! My only guess is that he’s referring to the fact that he hasn’t mentioned Bobo or tried to interact with him in any way, so it’s odd that Bobo would suddenly so intently be trying to communicate with Spitz. Not really how I would expect ほめる to be used though.

And then I don’t understand what’s going on with that bit connecting the two clauses - ないんだとでも - why だと in the middle there?

Page 38


I am 100% fine with all the outer bits, but that middle part… What on earth is he saying? He thought to give Kuroboshi the credit? That’s the only thing I can come up with that makes sense with 手がら (not a word I knew before).



So I thought some of the suggestions were a bit outlandish!

I got the gist of most of the page but couldn’t quite work out the sentence:

Translating it in bits, I get something like:

By some chance, maybe this wasn’t an incident.

Google translate says:

This may not be the case

Neither seems to make much sense in context!


My understanding of what he was saying to Bowbo is that he didn’t reward him, so then gave him a treat.

I translated the above sentence as:

Why, I didn’t reward you for doing well.

And I think your understanding of p38 is right - that’s what I understood also.

But I’m pretty new to Japanese and reading in particular.


Your translation is good, but I think there are some slightly different English ‘options’ you can pick to make it sound more natural. もしかしたら could also be “perhaps” or “maybe”, and 事件 could also be something closer to “plot” or “trouble”. I think 事件 usually has a slightly negative connotation - it’s an Incident with a capital I :grin:

Then you get something more like “perhaps this isn’t some plot after all” - as in, maybe it was just an accident, rather than something malicious or deliberate.


Aah, I see - that does make more sense :thinking: I hadn’t linked it to Bobo being rewarded or not specifically for his work sniffing out the culprit.


I translated this similar to you, only I broke the sentence up as ほめてくれないんだ then とでも to connect to the いいたげだ.

どうして Why

I took ほめてくれないんだ as Spitz is sort of explaining to himself that he hasn’t praised Bobo, which is why there is the んだ I think

Not entirely sure about the とでも but I took it as something like either the と is ‘and’ giving something like ‘and even so’, or I think it might be used because it’s sort of quoting Spitz’ thoughts, so quotation と + でも ‘but/even so…’

Then the いいたげだ meaning he seems like he wants to say something

So putting it together I got Why (is Bobo making noise), I haven’t praised him, even so (he) seems like he wants to say something.

Not the most graceful English translation but I tried to keep it similar to the Japanese. Also not sure how correct I am in my understanding :sweat_smile:



I’m having trouble with the last sentence.

I translated it as:

At any rate, … , because the Telescope (goldfish) is not stolen.

But I don’t understand the following clause in the middle:


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Okay, inspired by this I went a-searching and found this stack exchange post, which seems to imply that とでも is kind of used to turn the statement into a (rhetorical, I guess) question with some kind of emphasis.

It seems like interpreting it as a sarcastic “or something” works well for the English counterpart a lot of the time :sweat_smile:

OH. I just had a brainwave. I think this is Spitz thinking about what Bobo looks like he wants to say. This fits with the quotation particle, the sarcastic tone, the くれる… and I think the どうして makes more sense where it is if we consider it to be どうしてほめてくれないんだ, rather than どうして。。。いいたげだ, plus it explains why the whole sentence doesn’t have a question mark even though it starts off with a どうして. This also explains the questioning tone of the ほめてくれないんだ part.

So I reckon it might be “he looks like he’s trying to say “why haven’t you praised me” or something”.

Is it just me??! I think this makes 200x more sense?


Bother, so was I :sweat_smile:

But I can at least help with this bit. It’s そば・に・ 来くる, but 来る conjugates weirdly. It’s negative form - こない - and then the conditional ば form.

(you have a typo there - it’s こなければ)


Ah, that explains some of my difficulty - not all of it though!


I’m just going to try to break it down because I was confused:


どうしたって ・at any rate; no matter what

そば・に・こなければ・if didn’t come near / to the vicinity (こなければ is 来る in negative ば form)

デメキン・を・goldfish (direct object)

ぬすめない・not able to steal (ぬすむ in negative potential form)

So I think we’re carrying forward the topic of Akita to this sentence from the previous, and saying “no matter what, if [he] didn’t come near, [he] couldn’t have stolen the goldfish”.

And all the んですから fluff at the end is explanatory tone - that’s why he can’t be the culprit.


I seen the とでも when I did a google search as well but wasn’t sure if I was right about it, but it does seem like it makes sense in this situation :smile:

I think that makes more sense now cause then the next sentence is Sptiz thinking let me see, that’s strange as he can’t understand why Bobo would want praise because as far as he’s concerned, they haven’t found the culprit yet.

But Bobo thinks he has and then Spitz starts thinking Bobo, the culprit who stole the goldfish, have you worked it out? The sentence after that then has Sptiz basically saying that he’s Suddenly worked out who did it.

So it seems likely that Bobo has smelt Tobotobo’s scent around the house and now recognises it after meeting him, and he then attempts to tell Sptiz he should be praised as he’s now found the culprit, but Sptiz hasn’t caught on yet

I think that makes sense now

I’m so bad at writing graceful explanations in English though :sweat_smile:


Page 41

Here is another sentence where I thought I know every word but still, the meaning is not clear.


The same in a more familiar way (for me)


After I went through this effort to write it down it did start making more sense thought:

We, my mistake, think=believe that we play with dogs because they are our friends, but it is not true.

I don’t understand why there is a need to add highlighted negative term after 思.

By the way, I never check vocab list because I read on the phone and it feels easier for me to look up words myself. Do you think I may be missing important points and should make an effort to use vocab list?

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Page 37

I think that’s pretty much it, but I think the sequence is more that Bobo recognised Tobotobo’s scent from the window when they met, and “told” Spitz he’d found the culprit by leaping on Tobotobo. He’s now whining at Spitz because Spitz still hasn’t praised or rewarded him for finding the culprit (because Spitz didn’t realise) at the time.

Page 41

Yes, this is perfect. I think you’ve missed a few things in translation though:

つい is probably better understood as “subconsciously” or “unintentionally” here.

仲良く遊んでる is referring specifically to Bobo and Tobotobo playing around with each other earlier on in the story - it’s not talking about people playing with dogs. “おれたち” are doing the 思う verb, and the って indicates / quotes the thing they were thinking (subconsciously).

仲良く here is the adverb meaning “happily; getting on well with”, not the する verb version.

So 仲よく遊んでる is “to be playing together happily”.

So altogether we have that おれたち were subconsciously thinking “the dogs are happily playing together just because they are fellow dogs”.

But! (けど)

That’s not the case (それじゃない)

Altogether: We subconsciously thought that the dogs were just playing together happily because they are fellow dogs, but that’s not the case.

If you read on you’ll then see the counter to this / explanation. Does that help? I feel like it went through that in a very roundabout way :sweat_smile:

In terms of the vocab spreadsheet, it might help you to pick up on points where you’ve missed the specific usage in play or something. If you’re happy looking up words yourself though then I think it’s really up to you whether it’s worth the hassle on phone.


I often look up the words myself as I think I remember it better, but if the meaning doesn’t seem right or I’m not sure which one to use, I check the vocab sheet.


I read it as something like although I thought to achieve this…. I’d find it odd if he’s suggesting he’s going to whisper the solution to Keibu so Keibu can take the credit. It would make more sense that he simply doesn’t want to announce his solution before running it by the detective first. He’s a shy guy after all and it’s his first job with the police!

Found the vocab sheet helpful as I didn’t have loads of time to read this section. Thanks to whoever filled it in!

I love that my autocorrect is intent on changing Keibu’s name to Keith…



Hmmm, but I was thinking maybe he thinks it would look bad if some randomer swoops in and solves the case, rather than the police? Kuroboshi was in a bind and asked him to help the police (rather than Kaneyama asking for help directly, say), and Kuroboshi would know that Spitz had saved the day. I mean, by Kuroboshi shouting this, Spitz does get the credit, so I don’t know why he’d be lamenting the fact if that’s what he was hoping for :thinking:

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You know sometimes I wonder if we put too much thought into this! I imagine Akira Sugiyama sitting there somewhere reading our comments and thinking to herself, “Guys, I was writing this for 8 year olds!”


:joy: I do agree, but as this text is mostly quite painless for me to read it’s an opportunity to really obsess over the details :wink: I do in all seriousness learn a lot from reading these books with a very detailed eye.


Thanks very much for nutting this out - I think this was one of the toughest sentences so far in this book.

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Totally forgot that he had jumped on Tobotobo, another good reason for quickly reading back over previous weeks reading :sweat_smile:


Thank you for this. Could not figure this out for the life of me. Now that I realize what it is… from what u said…truly a face palm moment for me… :joy: