A parable about dogs and conserving energy. Ok not really a parable, just an observation about dogs.
In one way Cooper is bad at folk physics – he never gets that if he’s standing or lying where I’m trying to go, that means I can’t go there. He never budges over of his own accord; I have to say “mooooooove” and then he does it not because he knows that’s what I mean but because he knows I’m telling him to do something and that’s the only thing he can think of to do. It works, but it’s crude.
In another way, as Gretchen Robinson just reminded me on Facebook, he’s good at it – when we’re at the lake or the Sound and I throw the ball far out into the water, he uses his folk physics. Not, admittedly, the way Gretchen said; he doesn’t run to the point on the beach closest to where the ball hit the water. No, he plunges directly in and then aims for the ball. But on the return trip, he does aim for the shore, not for me; he takes the short route, not the long one.
But then he immediately asks for the ball to be thrown again, and bang goes all that conserved energy. He could just as well swim away from the shore for awhile and then head back.
So never ask a dog to engineer a freeway for you.