Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Quintessential Quote #49

"Dogs don't make mistakes."
-- Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place"
Could Sherlock Holmes possibly have believed that dogs don't make mistakes? The canonical evidence is against it.

Certainly, the spaniel in "Shoscombe Old Place" didn't make a mistake, nor did Professor Presbury's wolfhound in "The Crooked Man," nor did the dog who did nothing in the night-time. And we cannot fault those wonderful tracking dogs, Toby in The Sign of Four and Carlo in Pompey in "The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter."

But what about Jephro Rucastle's Carlo and the unnamed Hound of the Baskervilles? Surely they made mistakes -- they got themselves killed! 

And what about Victor Trevor's bull terrier, who froze on Holmes's ankle one morning while he was going down to chapel in college? Wasn't that a mistake?

No, dogs are not infallible. Perhaps Holmes was dyslexic and really meant to say "God doesn't make mistakes."

What do you think?

I will have much more to say in my talk, "Sherlock Holmes Gone to the Dogs: Canine Capers, Canonical and Otherwise," which I will present at the 26th annual Sherlock Holmes/ Arthur Conan Doyle Symposium in Dayton, Ohio, on May 19. I hope to see you there.

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree with Holmes. Dogs don't make mistakes. I was a drug dog handler for a number of years. I had a great partner, her name was Justice. She did not make mistakes the drugs were always there when she indicated. I wish her handler was as good as she was.