2014: Year of the ____

January 4, 2014

Draft #1 of Blog Post #1 of the Year 2014:

Dear Readers,

Why is the first blog post of the year so dang hard to write?  It makes me all jangly inside.

Is that weird?

Here’s the thing: I always feel that there’s kind of this pressure to do one/any of the following:

1) reflect back on my favorite blog moments of 2013

2) mark 2014 with something concrete like a new word, or catchphrase or growth goal

3) mark 2014 with a fervent call to optimism–boo to the dark and hail to the light!!


I do.   I feel pressure to do those things because lots of other people are doing it and doing it meaningfully…they’re shedding the old skin, kicking the crumbs to the trash pile and forging ahead with shiny vigor.


I feel sorta like I’m a dog who is stuck pissing on the same favorite fire hydrant.

I think I should feel bad about this?

Shouldn’t I have a bit more intiative? Finding a new hydrant builds character! It takes a spirit of adventure! It takes pluck! It takes…

A kind of relocation of body and spirit that I can’t manage just yet.

I don’t know why.

Okay, I do know why because I made myself sit down and think about it, which is not really my forte, but bear with me.

– Reason I can’t write a blog post about option ^1:

Looking back on a past year’s work is something that’s very, very dangerous for me. Every time I look back on past creative efforts, I come to the stark realization that, “Wow, this is kinda shitty.”

I don’t do so well upon re-examination.  I don’t see the glitter in the stardust that’s settled.  I see a stinkpile of dead leaves on the ground.

So yeah, I probably should avoid that reflection business.

– Reason I can’t write a blog post about option ^2:

Marking an entire year with a single word/catchphrase takes clarity and focus.

Option ^2 requires a microscope, and I’m more like one of those twisty, paper-tube kaleidoscope thingys.

Give me just a turn, a flick of the wrist, and I’m in another continent entirely.

Strike 2.

– Reason I can’t write a blog post about option ^3:


Who the Hell do you think you’re dealing with, here?

I don’t go into the light, CarolAnn.

I’m far more comfortable mucking around in the drek with the unshowered and the shady hearts.  I can pretend to be light and perky for roughly 43 seconds and then I plunge back down, into the bowels of things.



Gaaa! Why are you still here reading this?


Draft #2 of Blog Post #1 of the Year 2014:

Dear Readers,






Draft #3 of Blog Post #1 of the Year 2014:

Dear Readers,


Mozzy is at his very first appointment at the pet groomer’s so I’d better write this quick while I have one single sliver of time alone. Puppies are high-maintenance pains in the ass! Adorable pains, but hoo-boy. Between trying to crate train him (translation: grinding my teeth, avoiding eye contact/temptation and fervently wishing I were deaf) and spending time outside on the PeePee train and playing with his very frisky, fluffy self, I’m lucky if I remember to drink water or eat a fistful of stale crackers.

The Minxes are no help.

They think I am a black-hearted, vicious demon for keeping the Mozz-Man in his crate, and it’s hard not to agree with them when he’s making such delicious puppy yelps and irresistible puppy faces. Keep me strong, readers, because I am teetering on the brink of insanity and wimpy-hood.

Help Me!

Some things in Mozzy News:

-he has already been to the vet twice. He went the first time out of necessity and the second time out of owner neurosis. Good news: he is a very healthy puppy. Bad news: I’ve never owned a dog before and am a complete fucking nervous ball of anxiety. So when the Mozz-Man wasn’t showing interest in food (and yes, I’d gone out and purchased THREE different kinds/brands) I spazzed out and was convinced that he

a) had some horrible wormy type of disease

b) hated me and thought I was a shitty mother already and was pining miserably for his real (un-sucky) mama


c) who knows the Hell what else because fake puppy mommy is a canine ignoramous.

So I whisked him off to vet visit #2.

Turns out, Mozz just likes cat food and I need to keep that stuff on a high counter.

I apologized to the vet for being such a nervous asshole and took Eating Disorder Dog back home. And hid the cat food.

– I considered taking him back the vet this morning because he still isn’t eating more than a tablespoon of food twice a day. Instead, I just called. And was basically told, “Look lady, he’s a 3-pound dog. Get a grip and quit bugging us.”

– Mozzy is doing fairly well on the PeePee train but he is a stealth pooper. Turn your back for one second and viola! Insta-turdlet. He is very, very good at this.

-Mozzy no likey snow, and it’s snowing like gangbusters outside and cold. Thus, the PeePee train has de-railed a little bit. I am bankrupting myself on training pads and trying not to slit my carotoid artery.

-Mozzy looks dead when  he sleeps. It’s freaking me out.

-I will never have to wash my face or pick my nose again.

-My right leg will never be lonely again.

-I am the most incompetent, exhausted, insecure dog owner on the planet.



*pathetic whimper*

Much Love,


ps: we start training class on Tuesday. Heaven help us.

pps: Happy New Year. This should be interesting.


{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Jody January 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Be extremely careful at training class. They will tell you to yank on Mozzy’s choke collar. When Clia was a two pound puppy and I was in training class, I complied, and my dog caught air. Later she got out of the collar and went running around PetSmart. Since dogs that little can run UNDER the shelves that divide the aisles, she led us on quite the merry chase before we could catch her. We ultimately decided she was only ever going to be three pounds, obviously physically very easy to control, and could therefore do whatever the hell she wanted. Best decision ever.


Kim Jorgensen Gane January 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm

OMG, I adore you!! I tried and tried to write *that* post, too. Ain’t happening! But you make me feel perfectly ok about that. And Mozz-man is SO lucky to have you!! STAY STRONG on the crate! You’ll be so grateful you did. They are devious little monkeys designed to make us weak and spoil them, but you’ll end up with a much more pleasant and secure Mozz-man après puppiness if you stick to your guns now. xo


Kim Jorgensen Gane January 4, 2014 at 3:18 pm

But AGREE! Tiny dogs should NOT be yanked around by the neck! Gently hands, but repetition and clear expectations. He sounds smart. He’ll catch on quick without the yanking. You’ll know right away if you have a good trainer who KNOWS how to train small dogs appropriately. Listen to your instincts. You’ll be fine!


Dana Talusani January 5, 2014 at 7:57 am


I’m thinking I may need to take the Mozza-Rater to private lessons. Jesus. xoxo


Shannon January 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm

I’ve had three puppies in my adult life and every time it was hard in the beginning for exactly the same reasons that you describe. And every time it got easier with time (and worth it, with time).
When I open the door to let my dog out and she feels that gust of cold below zero air she walks away and says (with her expression) “No thanks. I’ll hold it ’til Spring”


Dana Talusani January 5, 2014 at 7:56 am


I’d be happily obliged if the Mozz-Man would hold it until Spring. I am buying stock in the Clorox company.


erin margolin January 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Puppy classes will be great! Yikes on the snow/training pads/pee train. Totally forgot about your being in the snow capital of the Midwest. Or one of them. Oops. Ship puppy to KC for January and February? Then again, my 13-pound mini Poodle would probably eat him for breakfast.



Dana Talusani January 5, 2014 at 7:50 am


That rascal already stealthpooped this morning (after we’d been hanging out in the training area for 5 minutes with no luck). I am very tempted to send him your way, my friend.xoxo


pamela January 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Oh I would have handled this situation the exact same way! I love this. It really made me laugh.

I have only had one puppy and I knew nothing (I was 21) so it was quite an adventure. But I adored that dog and it sounds like you already adore Mozzy. xoxo


jacquie January 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

You are doing well by the puppy. keep using the crate, be consistent in what you expect from him, use a gentle hand, light touch and treats. you will learn and tt will be fine.
loved the 1st part of the post as I hate reading any of those things on blogs around the 1st of the year. So thanks for something different and keep on being your original self.
I assume you have plenty of drink and chocolate on hand to get you through this cold spell – at least I hope you do. cheers


ayala January 5, 2014 at 4:32 am

:) You are perfect :) I hope 2014 is great!


Gibby January 5, 2014 at 7:28 am

Hang in there with the puppy!! Consistency is key, so don’t give in. Our dog LOVES cat food, too, and I read somewhere that the ingredients and percentage/ratio of them makes cat food taste like “cake” to dogs. They explained it real scientifically, but it’s too early in the morn for me to do that here, but seeing as I would take cake at anytime of the day myself, I got it. Also, can you shovel out a square on your grass close to your door? Maybe that would help. Get all the way down to the grass (or as close as possible). Puppies. A lot of work, but worth it!


Dana Talusani January 5, 2014 at 7:54 am


You are a genius. I did clear away a spot but Mozzy is so small that even sitting on that spot gets his little pee-pee wet and cold, and he is adamantly opposed.

Interesting about the cat food and “cake.” Maybe he’s smarter than I thought! xoxo


Dana Talusani January 5, 2014 at 7:51 am


Your words made me feel so much better. Really. Thanks for taking the time to leave them. xoxo


angelina January 5, 2014 at 8:46 am

You are talented, funny, creative, and awesome! Did I say funny, you made my morning tea and put a smile on face that will last the entire day every time I think of this post.



Dana Talusani January 5, 2014 at 11:51 am

Hi Angelina!

Nice to meet you–and thanks for coming in to say Hello!


elizabeth January 5, 2014 at 9:20 am

The Minxes will appreciate the crate training when little Mozzy isn’t all up in their stuff, eating the most random stuff. As others have said, consistency is so important–just keep at it and you will all get there!

As for the first post of 2014, I hear you on that very specific type of writer’s block that comes this time of year, and while I admire those who can summarize either the year that passed or the year ahead with one word or phrase, I know it’s a fool’s errand for me to attempt either. But reading this did give me the push I needed to actually write my NYE dinner recap, so thanks for that! :)


Robin January 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

I loved both posts equally, although as a dog owner, the second one made me laugh.

Dog training is good! Good for the dog and good for the owner – trust me on that. I agree that you should not pull on a choke collar – I trained my dog without one. I also use a real leash, not one of those flex leads, because honestly, that is no way to teach a dog anything other than he has free reign. I watched some great training videos online, but my dogs are both 10, so I can’t begin to remember what they were.

As for dog food – when my dog was a puppy, I thought he would starve to death because he hated everything I fed him. I ended up at a dog boutique with expensive foods not found at the grocery or pet stores, and that is how we found the food he loves. My girl will eat anything you put in her bowl.


Tiffany January 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Stay strong with the crate training…we did it with our Westies and they are the best dogs ever. And I would read anything you write…because your brilliant and wonderful. Ok?


nikkiana January 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Considering that my first post of the year ended up being about how much I love World’s Best Cat Litter…. I totally get it. As much as I love reading everyone else’s reflections on the year or their posts about their word of the year or goals and resolutions… I just feel kinda meh about making that what I write about on my blog right now. (Though, I guess I did write a “new years goals” post before the New Year…) So much of that stuff falls into the Highly Personal category, and I’m just not ready to float anything like that out into the world.


Dana Talusani January 6, 2014 at 8:25 am


And now I feel compelled to ask you about the World’s Best Cat Litter. There is such a thing?


Gappa Guy January 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Do not worry. Mozz loves you, (cause you are the feeder) and we love you, (cause you are so awesome). Wait till spring and the poop issue will stop. Go out and get a buzz, you’ll feel better or possibly you just won’t care…


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes January 6, 2014 at 8:04 am

I love you. I really do.


Alison January 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm

You’re awesome and I love you.


Woo Brower January 7, 2014 at 9:09 am

Puppies aren’t easy, but so worth it. And way easier than kids. Look at this way, dogs have the mental capacity of your average 2 year old. Which means if every single kid can sign “milk” and “more” and “thank you” by the time they are whatever months old then you can potty train a puppy and so much more.

Potty training is an issue of timing and positive reinforcement, like all training with dogs. I know it will click with you and Mozzy. Just remember: patience, positive reinforcement, plenty of treats.

I noticed someone mention a choke chain…please please please do not go to a trainer or a puppy class that uses a choke chain or a prong collar. But please do go to a puppy class. It will be the single most important investment you make as a new puppy parent. The biggest lesson is this: those classes are for you. YOU. Not Mozzy. Puppy classes teach you how to teach Mozzy. It would be good for the girls attend as well.


Justine January 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Happy New Year! My first post was nothing like the options you mentioned here, so I guess, join the club?

Congrats on the new member of the family! I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, a smart woman like you, that puppies are like babies. They’re made to look adorable/cute/irresistable so that we don’t kick them to the curb even if that’s exactly what we want to do. Every. Single. Day.

Good luck.


Barbara January 10, 2014 at 4:14 am

Re: 2014 blog post: you think too much. (My daughter says that all the time…we both overthink everything. Bad habit. Hard to break.)

So….I guess someone got a puppy for Christmas. I’ve had a lot of them, when the kids were still around. The kids were no help and I just didn’t have the time to train anyone very well, so we never had a perfectly trained dog. Still, they were loving and fun, so what else could one ask? Fortunately, I did a better job training my kids, although I was certain one of them would go to school in diapers.


Dana Talusani January 12, 2014 at 9:18 am


I feared the same thing with Miss M.–I thought, “Gaa, is she going to the prom in Pull-ups?”

And you are right. I think too much. Always have.


Kristen @ Motherese January 10, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Here’s a word of the year for you: Awesome. Because you are.

I’m still getting over the fact that you have a dog. You are a marvel. And awesome.

Love you, girl


liz January 11, 2014 at 7:16 am

I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT! I knew I couldn’t be the only one who gets all uncomfortable with the the whole New Year Reflection thing….the only reason I actually DID end up reflecting and blogging about it in a way that attempted poignancy (you be the judge of that?) was because Lindsey Mead’s blog post made stuff pop into my consciousness that I didn’t realize was there (don’t you hate that?) and then I had to write about it. P.S. Anyways…it’s there…on the blog…not sure if you read it, or will, but I totally agree on the whole forcing it thing.
And on the dog…man, every time I see something about it on FB, I cringe. I remember having a puppy…and it was nearly worse than having an infant. xoxo


Dana Talusani January 12, 2014 at 9:20 am


You crack me up! Off to read your New Year’s Reflection…


S in AK January 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Just now resurfacing from the Christmas from H-E-double hockey-sticks. Thank you for this. Your posts often manage to reassure me it’s okay to be me. I see how hard you are on yourself (and–OMG–I’ve heard, “you think too much,” all my life) yet, *I* TOTALLY enjoy you and find you very worthwhile! Which makes me think, maybe I’m not all that much of a mess, after all.


Dana Talusani January 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

S in AK,

I have been in a bad place lately and have been watching all kinds of trashy reality t.v. because people like that make me feel like I’m kinda normal. xo


Jennifer January 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

Poor Moz in the crate. He loves you and just wants to come out and play.


Naptimewriting January 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm

You’re so fucking cute I can’t stand it.

And I’m so, so, so sorry for laughing at the image of you two shivering little spazz-balls, circling each other and trying to train each other. Yap, yap, yap…kisses…yap, yap…snack.

Have some feta and lemon, babe. Bake some slabbed feta and olive oil and red pepper flakes in foil. Put it on polenta, top with poached egg, re-top with shave parmesan. Bake some more. Squirt on lemon. And call it April. You’ll be better soon, my adorable spazz-ball.


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