So, my family has recently bought a new puppy. He's a black lab and is about 17 weeks old and gained 10 pounds in two weeks, which to me is A LOT! His name is Brady and he is the sweetest thing...except when he isn't. Brady is nowhere near mean or aggressive, he doesn't bite, he barely barks and he will let you press in between his paws which is suppose to be the most sensitive spot on a dog. But. the thing with having a puppy is they are as much work as an infant human and let me tell you why.

1. They chew on EVERYTHING

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Little Brady is a chewer. I always joke around and say he is going through his "teething" stage, like babies do. But it's the honest truth! Brady chews on flip-flops, doesn't care too much for tennis-shoes. He chews on his home. He sleeps in a metal crate at night because he isn't officially house broke yet, and he chews on the metal bar like things. And I'm talking yanking the home around with his teeth while he gnaws on the corners of it. His puppy toys don't last very long, if they have a squeaker in them they are more likely to last then his ropes believe it or not. His ropes he tares the strings out of and gets them caught in his teeth and around his feet and it's just a nightmare. The annoying toys, he likes to actually play with-I think its the sounds. And he will throw those things back and forth and chew on them until he pulls the squeaker out, but at least he isn't chewing on the furniture.

2. They are A LOT like human infants

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The first month we had Brady he didn't do much. He slept and ate and would occasionally wake up to play with us. It reminded me a lot of when my sisters were newborns. All they did were eat, sleep and need a diaper change. Well, Brady was a lot like this. But now that he's a bit older he does a bit more. He still sleeps a lot, but he plays more then he did. He will go outside with my sisters, try to play with the kittens, even though he is 500 times bigger than them, and he has a bit more stamina. What used to warrant Brady to take a 3-hour nap only makes him need a drink of water. So, just like humans he grows in the same ways as us, he just has four paws and gained 10 pounds in two weeks.

3. They lay everywhere

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Brady is a really sweet, well-tempered dog. But he has this problem of laying down right next to you, where ever that may be. The best example is the couch. We could all be sitting there as a family with no more room, and Brady trots on in and hops on up. He will curl down in between people, he will lay on you literally. Normally we don't care to have Brady cuddle up with us, but when the whole couch is free and he chooses to put his head on the cushion and his body on you, it gets uncomfortable. Because he doesn't move either. You can pull him by his collar, clap for him, shake the treat box and he will just look at you. He will not move. And besides all that he's a kicker, now I had a sister who kicks in her sleep and this is a 1,000 times worse. Brady will just be trying to nest down deeper in the couch, or my favorite when his whole body is stretched out and he just starts moving his legs like he's running but he's actually kicking you in the side, over and over and over and over. He really has no control.

4. They are A LOT of work

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People always talk about how they want a puppy for their child, or they want the dog they had when they were a child, but most people are not prepared for the amount of work that a puppy brings or any new baby animal. If you think about it Clifford was the smallest puppy ever and grew up to be the BIGGEST RED DOG EVER, so you really need to be prepared for anything. With Brady we are still house training, so he gets walked every hour on the hour, and he still sometimes has accidents in the house. He also has a lot of energy so he has to be played with, and you have to train him to listen.

Commands like sit, lay, stay, shake, are the most common but they really aren't the easiest thing to teach a puppy whose only thought is to lick you and play. You also have to make sure they are fed and have fresh water and they have to get their vaccinations, and parvo shots and then, for us, we get him fixed, its a lot of money and a lot of time. But if you are good to your animals they will be good to you. Just know what you're signing up for before you actually do it.

5. They will love you forever

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The best part about having a puppy is if you give them unconditional love, they will love you forever. Despite all the work and the vet visits, and the accidents they may have, they have so much love. They recognize you as family, they know you are who rescued them from their cage in the pound and gave them a home. The constant licking, and jumping and wanting you to throw the toys, is their way of showing you they love you just as much if not more then you love them. And despite how frustrated I may get with Brady, he really is a sweet dog and deserves all the love in the world.

Animals are a mysterious thing. They are a lot of work and are hyper and playful but in the end, they will change your life. They will help bring a family closer when they are having a rough time, they will make you smile when they great you. They can even make you laugh when they are standing on the window seal barking at the neighborhood dog who is 4 times their size. Puppies are a gift from the Lord himself, and we do not deserve them, but maybe if we love them hard enough and take care of them well enough, we can begin to deserve them a fraction of what they deserve.