All puppies are extremely cute whether it’s their look or their mannerisms. Everything about them is filled to the brim with adorableness.

Well, I’m here to tell you to not be fooled. That’s by design. It’s a defense mechanism in their DNA, because if they weren’t so freaking cute, those rotten beasts wouldn’t survive into doggy adulthood.

In the ongoing saga with my family and our now 16-week-old puppy, Oreo, our gripes with him come down to biting, chewing, peeing and pooping…constantly.

I’ve reached the point where I started picking and choosing what I let upset me with him; it’s like picking your fights when you’re in a relationship.

“Daddy, the puppy is chewing on the electric fence!”

“Eh…just make sure he doesn’t poop on it.”

I’ve chosen which of my body parts can tolerate his tiny razor-sharp puppy bites. For example, Oreo Speedwagon can go after my legs, toes and arms, but I have to draw the line at my fingers because, as a newspaper reporter, that’s my livelihood. I’ve also drawn a strict line at my face because I’m still holding out hope that my male modeling career will take off.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to do the responsible thing and look for ways to deal with the new furry menace in my life by doing research online where there’s an avalanche of information just waiting to bury me alive.

Of course, everything you read and see online is totally trustworthy — oh, and I might as well announce now that I’m leaving my wife for this 20-year-old bikini model from Brazil who totally fell in love with me after two message exchanges on Instagram; I’m just waiting for her to fly over to America now that she’s cashed that check I sent her for $78,500 for airfare and other expenses.

However, until Valentina makes her way here and hopefully responds to my many messages and calls, I still have to deal with this puppy…and bankruptcy court.

It’s so true that no matter what new thing you receive — if it’s a new house, a new job or a new leprosy diagnosis — there are always going to be people who want to give you advice on it. The same is especially true of getting a new dog, especially a puppy and especially a puppy.

They always seem to have answers to my questions and to my follow up questions after I dismantle their first, second and fifth piece of advice with reality.

ME: “The puppy is still biting me.”

DOG EXPERT: “Did you smack him in the nose with a newspaper?”

ME: “Yeah, but he didn’t stop biting, and then he started chewing the newspaper and went to the bathroom on my column.”

DOG EXPERT: “Sprinkle chili powder on the newspaper.”

ME: “Wonder if he likes the taste of chili powder?”

DOG EXPERT: “Put the newspaper in his dish and your column in the yard so he knows where to eat and where to squat.”

Then you go to the veterinarian for the puppy’s checkup and hear more advice, which makes you realize that everything that everyone has told you up to that point was totally wrong. When you tell those people what the vet said, they say the vet doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

It’s only when you start practicing everything you’ve crammed in your head in the first couple of weeks of raising a puppy, you find only some people know what they’re talking about, most people have no clue what they’re talking about and the remainder of people are honest by saying it’s up to you to figure out what works…and you should have brought home a pet rock instead.

The latter group is certainly correct. Pet rocks are cheap, easy to maintain and always listen to commands with the exception of playing fetch, but it is up to the owner to decide what works and what needs tweaked with their dogs to make them the best they can be.

By my calculations, my little Oreo has about 13 months to learn how to straighten up and fly right before the puppy cuteness wears off and he’s replaced with the pet rock.

According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. He hosts the “Locally Yours” radio show on WMBS 590 AM every Friday. His book, “Stupid Brain,” is available on

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