Here's Gimpy, ambling around on one side of the backyard, looking for the perfect place to make a "deposit":
Here's Levi, who's positioned himself in a spot where he can intercept Gimpy if Gimpy tries to head back to the house:
You might think Levi is just standing there, but he isn't. He's locked into his "play-like-I'm-a-border-collie-guarding-the-sheep" stance, every muscle tensed, and he's stalking Gimpy. He waits patiently for Gimpy to take care of his business but doesn't take his eyes off him for a second. He's initiating one of their favorite games. I call it "pounce," and I hate this game.
Gimpy finishes pooping and takes a few short steps, first in one direction, then another, and behaves as if he's totally unaware that Levi exists on this planet, much less in his near vicinity. Then, as if somebody fired a starter pistol, Gimpy springs into action and makes a fake-out move, racing away from the house and behind the garden shed. Levi stays where he is, his head swiveling from side to side as he tries to decide whether to chase after Gimpy or wait for him to come around the other side of the shed. Suddenly, Gimpy bursts back onto the scene, making a wide loop through the yard and moving so fast that he forces Levi to turn around and chase him from the opposite direction. Gimpy zigzags through the grass. If Levi isn't chasing him fast enough, Gimpy runs toward Levi to make the game more interesting. Now Levi can get him. Here's the moment and . . . pounce:
Usually Levi does the pouncing and Gimpy is the "pouncee." Gimpy is smaller but faster than Levi, so these roles make for a good chase, and the chase almost always leads to a wrestling match. That's the part I don't like: these boys are rough! They growl and grunt, grab one another by the leg or the neck or the collar (collar-grabbing is a foul in my opinion), and flash teeth at each other. Sometimes, after they wrestle for a bit, they switch roles and Gimpy chases Levi. In this second version of the game, Levi runs away from him for a little while then stops short, waits for Gimpy to catch up -- and then Levi pounces on Gimpy again.
Fortunately, pounce is a high-energy game, so it doesn't last long at a stretch. When they've wrestled for the last time, they roll over, stand up, and trot side-by-side to share a cool drink, much like two buddies stopping to have a beer together after a competitive golf game or tennis match:
Then it's time to take a break and relax in the shadow of the gardenia bush. If there's a tennis ball handy (and there almost always is), Levi picks it up and takes it with him. That often means they'll expect me to join them in their next activity. That's okay with me. I don't mind fetch, but I stay as far away from pounce as I can.