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The Canine in Conversation
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an illustration of a viscous hound
figure 1  


loose the hounds. Send ruthless minions to dispatch intruders without regard to their safety or comfort.

Hounds are hunters, and the kind of hounds you loose are probably killers as well. These might be the kinds of dogs you would call off, though depending on the circumstances or their training, this may or may not be an option. Like the dogs of war (famine, fire, and sword) they are not always controllable once they get out.

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Montgomery Burns of The Simpsons spacer
figure 2

Springfield's leading industrialist, Montgomery Burns (of the animated television series The Simpsons) is prone to telling his minion, Smithers, to “Release the hounds!” when the mogul's estate is threatened.





About the illustrations: Figure 1 is Sidney Paget’s classic illustration of the Hound of the Baskervilles, which appeared in the Strand Magazine in its March/April, 1902 issue. This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.reference 1

Figure 2 is an image of Montgomery Burns himself. This image is copyrighted and unlicensed. I believe that the use of this work in the article “loose the hounds ” to illustrate the subject in question where no free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Other uses of this image may constitute copyright infringement.

1. Paget, Sydney. 1902. The Hound of the Baskervilles. Strand Magazine, March-April.
see also: call off the dogs; dogs of war; let the dogs out; who let the dogs out; unleash Last updated: July 5, 2008
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