And it is not hard to find good points to discuss in HOUN.
Several years ago we had a member of the Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn who was a veterinarian.
And when we were discussing the HOUN during one of our meetings he did a great paper on what kind of dog he thought was the hound of Holmes' day. Well researched and informed, it made for very good discussion.
I know over the years several other well known and not so well known Sherlockian's have also given us there input on the type and breed of the dog.
While making this tour with Sherlock Peoria's guide and rereading the chapters to keep pace, a thought struck me ( I know, it doesn't happen often, but I will be OK).
A lot of discussion has been had at our favorite Sherlockian atmosphere pubs about what kind of dog attacked Sir Charles and finally Sir Henry, but I have yet to read or hear of a theory on what kind of dog it was that attacked (Sir?) Hugo, who owned it and what made it attack.
We probably, perhaps erroneously, think it belonged to the farmers daughters family, but we don't know for sure. Someone who perhaps had it in for (Sir?) Hugo for any number of other reasons?
A dog that big would hardly go unnoticed in a small community. And if you were keeping a dog like that to protect the farm, it would have been known.
It had to have been bred to be that mean.
Unless you believe in the supernatural theory of the day, the spectral appearance of the hound would have had to have been planned. Someone just waiting for the right opportunity?
A diseased dog (someone mentioned rabid wolf?) who just happened to be in the area?
Someone went to their grave, allowing the the truth to become legend (thank goodness, or we wouldn't have this great tale), yet perhaps suffering a great loss. or celebrating revenge. Were a whole village of people keeping a secret to be rid of Sir Hugo?
I'm gonna give it some thought and come up with a theory, some day.