Gone Past 40, Enjoying Tegan Very Much

Tegan is five months old and things have gone much more smoothly than I had thought they’d go. We debated as to whether a puppy would be a good idea because, as my friend pointed out, we’re “past 40” but I think things have been easier with this puppy because someone is home almost all the time to supervise.

I dreaded the thought of getting up in the middle of the night for outdoor “potty breaks” but Tegan has only asked to go out in the middle of the night three times the first two weeks he was home. Other than that, he sleeps from 9 p.m. when the dogs last go out, until around 6 a.m. That’s a bit earlier than I like, but it beats staggering outdoors at 3 a.m. He’s never even had an accident in his crate.

He started asking to go out about a month ago. We still watch him and make sure we take him out on a regular basis, whether he asks or not, but I’m always happy to hear the high-pitched yelp that means he’s waiting at the back door.

He doesn’t seem to understand that if one of us is moving forward, he needs to move out of the way, so there is an increased risk of tripping but so far both Jim and I have managed to remain upright.

My routine with puppies is to use towels in their crates rather than nice beds because puppies generally shred the bedding. So far, the towels are untouched. He has gnawed on the dining room table a couple of times, but Gael had already scarred that table leg. The same goes for the magazine rack, which was marked by my first dog as a child. So far, other furniture has escaped unscathed.

We haven’t lost any items of clothing to puppy teeth, but we make sure nothing is within reach. Tegan does enjoy shredding newspaper, which is a harmless, if messy, game. It’s amazing how many tiny bits of newspaper can be strewn around the living room in a very short time. At least I get exercise as I bend over to pick up the pieces. He also loves to steal paper napkins from the laps of unsuspecting diners.

He loves shoelaces and also likes to try to grab socks before we can get them on our feet. Because he’s faster at grabbing than I am at putting them on, I just shut him out of the room when I’m putting on shoes and socks.

He doesn’t play in the water dish, which surprises me. All my other Corgi puppies have considered the water dish a great way to cool off after a game, and have splashed wildly in the water, but not Tegan, so that’s one less area to clean up.

Gael loved digging as a puppy and there are still holes in the yard from her younger years. Tegan doesn’t dig holes, but he does scrape tiny divots in the lawn and nibble. I can’t determine whether he’s munching grass roots, or dirt or, ewww, tiny bugs, but that’s his preferred type of yard work.

Speaking of yard work, I’ve learned to put the puppy in the house before weeding. Floppy garden gloves are a huge temptation for puppies, as are tangling bits of roots and greenery. The puppy does add an element of fun but slows progress.

I’ve also learned that marigolds, clematis and hydrangeas are not good for dogs. Since I’m generally in the yard, I can distract Tegan if he decides to chew on any of these plants. Mostly, he enjoys twigs from the lilac bushes, and lilacs are not toxic to dogs.

Gael and Tegan play together vigorously. Rhiannon never wanted to play with Gael as a puppy and Griffin was more apt to beat up Rhiannon than play with her, but Gael enjoys Tegan and will instigate a play session if Tegan does not. The only drawback to the play sessions is that Tegan ends up with very soggy ears and neck from Gael mouthing him. He doesn’t care, but it’s not a nice feeling when we want to give Tegan a pat or two.

His training is coming along and I’m hoping to enroll in an obedience class soon. I know enough to teach him most things but a class is a structured way to get him more familiar with other dogs and people.

We may be “past 40” but we’re enjoying Tegan very much.