Levi's new trick:
Outside earlier this week, on each of four separate occasions, I chatted with a different neighbor over a different section of my back fence. Levi and Gimpy were outside with me. On each of those occasions, Levi repeatedly pushed his tennis ball under the fence, and each neighbor dutifully threw it back for him--several times apiece.
Gimpy's new trick:
Outside earlier this week, on one occasion, I chatted with a group of neighbors in the front yard, face to face. Levi and Gimpy were left inside the house. On that occasion, Gimpy must have thought, "Screw the stupid tennis ball; now's my chance to chew the corner off the coffee table."
In Gimpy's defense, this was my fault. I've caught him more than once mouthing the corners of that table, and though I've stopped him each time before he did any damage, his interest in chewing is the main reason he still gets locked in the crate when I leave the house. This time, maybe because I wasn't really going anywhere except a few feet out the front door, it didn't even cross my mind to lock him up.
In his further defense, he was very sorry. As soon as I stepped back inside the house and screamed, "Omigod, what have you done??!!??" his face scrunched up, his posture slumped, and the tip of his tail (the rest of which of which was tucked tightly against his backside) beat a frantic, nervous rhythm. He was clearly repentant as I talked to him in my shaming voice, calling him a bad boy and telling him how disappointed I was.
Levi watched with what appeared to be mild curiosity, as if he has dissociated himself from any of the similar lectures he got up until six or eight months ago, when he apparently decided it was time to grow up and stop eating my house.
Gimpy's apology was so charming that I couldn't stay mad at him, but I'm still annoyed at myself for giving him the opportunity to make that kind of mistake. Shame on both of us.