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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Characters

Mrs. Shears

Characters Mrs. Shears

Mrs. Shears is one of the first characters introduced in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as her dog, Wellington, is killed in the opening scene, and his murder serves as the major dramatic impetus for the novel. Mrs. Shears shrieks when she sees Christopher holding a bleeding Wellington, and afterward she keeps her distance from the Boone family. This decision is understandable, as the reader learns over the course of the novel that Mrs. Shears has a complicated history with Christopher’s parents. Two years before Wellington’s murder, Mrs. Shears’s husband, Mr. Shears, left her for Christopher’s mother. In the wake of their affair, Mrs. Shears visited the Boone household often, cooked Christopher and his father meals, and sometimes spent the night. When Christopher’s father admits to killing Wellington, he explains, “I thought she might...eventually...want to move in here…we got on really, really well. I thought we were friends. And I guess I thought wrong.” Readers can infer that Christopher’s father and Mrs. Shears developed a close relationship—most likely romantic in nature—that did not progress the way Christopher’s father hoped. However, Christopher remains unable to piece together the clues and understand that Mrs. Shears broke his father’s heart, mainly because Christopher doesn’t realize the level of intimacy they shared after his mother left.