One “pathologically persistent” dog and his epic battle with a stick has become the perfect analogy for the seemingly never-ending Brexit negotiations.
University of Nottingham Psychology Professor Mark Haselgrove took to Twitter to share the tale of his pet dog, Jack, and questioned the animal’s cognitive ability as it wrestled with its own spacial awareness in a bid to get a beloved stick through a gap in a fence.
It’s times like this with Jack that I feel justified in my decision to not explain animal behaviour with stuff like insight, reasoning and higher-order cognitive processes.. pic.twitter.com/HpIFl5Ej1G
— Mark Haselgrove (@MarkHaselgrove) March 27, 2019
The relentless battle between Jack and the fence lasted for an excruciatingly long minute before the dog managed to figure out a system that freed his precious piece of woodwork.
This has to be some kind of Brexit metaphor.
— Prof Alice Roberts (@theAliceRoberts) March 27, 2019
PM Theresa May has revealed that Jack The Border Collie is her inspiration for getting her Brexit deal through Parliament…..
Jack for PM! https://t.co/PsW2juT3AF
— June the Tea Lady (@TeaLadyJune) March 27, 2019
The ‘persistence pays off success story’ went viral on Twitter, quickly racking up more than 200,000 views. The post also drew hundreds of comments, drawing a parallel between Jack’s seemingly fruitless battle, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s ongoing Brexit negotiations.
This is just the perfect metaphor with Theresa May’s “deal” being the “stick” and the “gate” being the house of commons. #BrexitShambles
— The Impacttologist (@impacttologist) March 28, 2019
Feels like a meaningful vote metaphor.
— Ian (@teachingofsci) March 27, 2019
The good news is Haselgrove posted an update on Thursday to reveal that Jack repeated the same process the following morning, and appeared to have learned from his mistakes, proving that all hope of such progress for humans is not yet lost.
What did Jack do the next day? Did he show any evidence of being able to learn?
Yes! Jack repeated the behaviour that was ultimately successful yesterday – drop the stick first, walk forward and pull the stick through the gap.
Good boy Jack! pic.twitter.com/kNrF2mdmiv
— Mark Haselgrove (@MarkHaselgrove) March 28, 2019
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