When Timothy threw a tennis ball into a lake for Elvis, his dog, to retrieve, he noticed something. Elvis didn’t always run for the ball straight from where he stood. Sometimes, Elvis ran at a tangent before plowing into the water to fetch the ball.
Timothy got curious and thew the ball at various angles to see how Elvis approached the water. Why? Because Timothy was a mathematics professor, and Elvis was a dog who happily obliged his owner’s experiment by retrieving the ball every time.
Based on the throwing point, and Elvis’s running and swimming speed, constructed algebraic equations that lead him to a startling conclusion: Elvis instinctively understood the launch point that would be the shortest distance to swim through the water to get the ball. We’re not sure why Pennings was so surprised. Elvis was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and we all know how smart THEY are.
We avoid math at all costs, but for those of you interested in seeing how the numbers added up, we give you, “Do Dogs Know Calculus?” by Timothy J. Penning from which this photo comes.