From whom does Candy seek advice before allowing Carlson to shoot his dog in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men? 

From whom does Candy seek advice before allowing Carlson to shoot his dog in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men?


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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Candy seeks judgment, perhaps, more than advice from Slim before handing over his dog to Carlson.

Early in Chapter 3 when Carlson enters the bunkhouse after losing at horseshoes by the barn, he sniffs the air and complains,

"God awmighty, that dog stinks. Get him outa here, Candy! I don't know nothing that stinks as bad as an old dog. You gotta get him out." (Ch. 3)

Candy pats his dog and apologizes for him, but Carlson will not be appeased. He insists that the dog has gone beyond having any quality of life since his teeth are gone and he is stiff with rheumatism. "He ain't no good to hisself. Why'n't you shoot him, Candy?" (Ch.3) Candy squirms. He tells Carlson that he has had the dog since he was a puppy, and he used him to herd sheep. So, when Carlson suggests that he take the dog and shoot him in the back of the head where he would not know what happened, Candy replies, "No, I couldn' do that. I had 'im too long." (Ch.3)

Carlson then offers to shoot the dog for him, saying the dog cannot even enjoy himself anymore. But, Candy will not give in, even when Carlson suggests that Candy pick out a dog from Slim's dog's litter. Slim, too, tells Candy the dog is suffering. "Candy looked helplessly at him, for Slim's opinions were law." (Ch. 3)

"Maybe it'd hurt him, he suggested. "I don't mind takin' care of him." (Ch.3)

But, Carlson insists, despite the entry of some of the other men. "We can't sleep with him stink'in around in here." (Ch.3)

Candy looked a long time at Slim to try to find some reversal. And Slim gave him none. At last Candy said softly and hopelessly, "Awright--take 'im." (Ch.3)

Candy cannot look at his old dog. He puts his arms behind his head and stares at the ceiling. Then, Carlson ties a leather strap around the dog's neck, saying apologetically to Candy, "He won't even feel it." (Ch. 3) But Candy neither moves nor responds.