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OK, OK... so I'm sure it's not harder to raise a puppy than a baby, but I think it's pretty similar. I have this furry hellion, named Panda, that has taken over my home the last few weeks. I may not have a human baby to compare him too, but I used to be a nanny and I'm finding a lot of similarities here. A suspicious amount, if you will.

I'm pretty sure he is secretly a human child in disguise. A child with a lot of fur.

Here are my reasons:

1.) He has to be watched ALL THE TIME
If I don't watch him, he will eat/swallow everything. Absolutely everything. Cotton. Leaves. Rocks. Dirt. I'm pretty sure babies do this too, I've seen it. Their little fists reach out and boom! It's delicious and gone and you're in a panic.

2.) He has a super sensitive stomach
If he actually is able to swallow anything before I can get it out of his mouth (has only happened twice. Leaves. Small piece of bread) He will wake up at the most inconvenient time (3am. 4am.) and have thrown up all over himself and his bedding. I will, in my half asleep state, have to bathe him, wash his bedding and calm him down before he can go to bed again. I vividly remember doing this for children I babysat when they had the flu. Same. Exact. Thing.

3.) He is teething
He chews on everything. Absolutely. Everything. My fingers. My feet. My shoes. Metal. Wood. Corners of cabinets. Alright, so babies don't chew on cabinets, but they do chew on a lot of things when they're teething. It makes keeping things out of their mouths that much more stressful. And just so you know, my pup's teeth are freakin' sharp. I never had any baby bite me to the point of me actually feeling pain. He's a fierce creature.

4.) I have to arrange my whole life around him
I have to constantly plan to be home at a certain time to let him out, feed him, entertain him and check on his general well-being. This has put a stop to going out for hours at night, taking spontaneous overnight trips to other cities and working long hours. I'm pretty sure you give up a lot of similar things when you have children, or you get a full time babysitter. (If you'd like to babysit panda, please feel free to apply kduncan@vicad.com)

5.) Random strangers now approach me on a regular basis
People are constantly (like, constantly. Always. Every minute.) telling me how cute he is. Neighbors I've never talked with or even met, now come out to visit with him. Co-workers ask me why I'm at work when I have something as cute as him at home. A pizza delivery person stopped delivering just to ask me about him. I experienced this when I was out with an adorable 1-year-old as a nanny, I just didn't expect this with a puppy.

6.) I have this urge to take pictures. All the time.
It's pretty annoying when parents, or pet owners, take photos ALL THE TIME and post them on facebook/twitter/the internets. Everyday their status is about their child/pet and various photos documenting their new diet, outfit, sleeping position and general state of existence. The parent/pet owner's life has ceased to exist and in it's place is this cute little thing to take photos of and talk about. Thankfully, I am mostly able to resist this, only posting the absolute most adorable photos and generally resisting taking photos just because he is so dang fluffy. I'll scold myself and only post a photo every few days or so. Of course, I admit, I do have an album on facebook (See: The Life of Panda) but it's only so that the entire world can enjoy him too. It's for you guys. Really.

7.) The cuteness factor
You can be completely sleep deprived, stressed out from work, haven't eaten in hours/days and still, can't be mad at this cute thing that just destroyed something in your home. Whether he has unraveled my carpet or chewed the hell out of my running shoes, all he does is look at me with that furry face and it's over. I'm not mad. Babies also have this power, in abundance, as they can wake you up at any hour and you'll still look at them at 4am or after they've thrown up all over you and think "Awww, so cute."

In conclusion, I'm pretty sure he is a very tiny, very furry, human baby. All the evidence supports this. I guess I better start saving up for college now.

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