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Recently my parents decided to get my sister and me a puppy; they thought a little furry friend would be a great addition to our family.

They were right. But what we did not discover until later is that puppies are like babies. Unfortunately we didn’t get nine months to prepare and get used to the idea. It took all of two weeks and three hours at PetSmart.

We named our new puppy Ike for Dwight D. Eisenhower. He is a great joy for our family, especially my dad, who is a historian.

The only problem has been teaching Ike some house rules. When it comes to training, we need to remember that every dog is different; certain learning techniques are too advanced or just don’t work for him. After spending time with Ike, I became more aware of his growing personality, bad habits and normal behavior.

Here is some advice from a new puppy owner:

• Pay attention to your dog! Turning your back may result in accidents on the carpet.

• Dogs will eat anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s your shoe, your history homework or dirt.

• They only get smarter. If you’re not careful, puppies learn how to get what they want. For example, my dog will show me that he wants to go to out and then as I’m putting on my shoes, he will steal my breakfast.

Overall, being a dog owner is a lot work, but the funny stories and daily laughs make up for it.

Before I had a pet I could never imagine a dog becoming a beloved member of the family. And now despite all the puppy craziness, my family is in love with Ike. Coming home from school has never been more satisfying with my crazy, lovable pup waiting for me at the door.

We just need to learn how to control him in time for Christmas or we may have a whole new set of problems.

Arianna Gabriel is a sophomore at Denis Morris Catholic High School in St. Catharines, Ont.