It’s a beautiful day in North Iowa – I’m outside with Jo and Ivy is here, too.

Then this great picture! Look how happy she is!

But then this.

I picked her up again – she is heavy! And then this.

She just wants to be invisible.

We’re still trying to fix the blog – Kayla is not writing these posts, Mary is. We don’t know why her name keeps popping up as author. We are a work in progress for sure!

Paula P. From Kentucky sent me this tshirt – “You can never have too many rescues”. I can’t wait till it’s warm enough for short sleeves again. Thank you, Paula!! This was a very thoughtful gift and good advice for anyone.

I think it’s time for a Sunday afternoon nap!

50 thoughts on “Sunday

  1. Ruthie

    Wow ! That is progress and a great picture of Jo ! She may have heard a strange noise or seen something that spooked her. You are so good with her Mary ! Hang in there !

  2. Lorraine McGeough

    I thought Jo was smiling in the first picture and then I saw the other pics and it is so sad to see her hide her head. I feel so bad for her and feel for her so much as to what she must have gone thru prior to you getting her. It seems like you are making progress with Jo but then she regresses again. It is going to take a long time. Your kindness and patience will pay off some day I hope.

  3. Kathy Burton

    Hello, I just wanted to share a quick story about a dog with a bad past. The dog had been passed around to several owners and always returned for several reasons. One man was determined to turn this dogs life around and save him. In previous homes the dog was yelled at and of course his name was yelled out too. After the new owner had tried several training methods he finally thought of just changing the dogs name! It worked! The dog had a new identity and his new name came from a loving owner that didn’t tell his name over and over. The new name saved this dog and gave him a new start. Just wanted to share this.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy Burton – yes! Jo’s previous name was Teya so I immediately changed it to a one syllable name that sounds completely different than the name connected to her time of abuse. Sadly it has not solved her problems like the story you recounted but it’s still got to be better than hearing the name Teya over and over to remind her of her past.

  4. Wendy T.

    No matter how slow the progress seems with Jo – she (and you!) ARE making progress. That is the take away here. Christmas time is a true season of miracles and you are an angel for helping Jo after she has suffered so much. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. Janet S

    Mary, Have you asked your vet about giving Jo a mild tranquilizer. My friends had a difficult dog so their vet gave him one tranquilizer so he wasn’t so anxious. For some reason, it really helped him to accept people.

  6. Linda Schluchter

    The pictures of Jo hiding is heartbreaking, God bless the poor baby, she is so fearful I wish there was something that could be done to erase all her fears. I continue to pray for you and Jo.

  7. Charlotte Shira

    I want to cry for Jo too! Poor baby! Mary you will get through to her. I love your t-shirt too!
    I went to the cemetery today. My husband is buried at the National Cemetery near Sacramento. If you life near a national cemetery, drive through. It is just beautiful this time of year. Wreaths Across America does such a beautiful job!

  8. Paula Philpot

    Jo looked so happy in the pic, Be Still and she will see how much you love her. Glad you loved the shirt….YOU had to have it! Wear it over a turtle neck this winter!! Paula in KY

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Paula Philpot – thank you for getting the shirt big enough so that I CAN wear it over a turtleneck!! Good idea!

  9. Lois Ann Johnson

    Yes, it was a beautiful Sunday! And yes, it was also a good day for an afternoon nap. Bailey and I did have a nap after lunch. My church is open; we had services this morning and then this evening there was the Children’s Sunday School program. I sang in the choir; also played “Away in the Manger” on my violin as part of the event. The kids were adorable and did great. I am praying that Jo will come to trust people again and not be so fearful around you. She must have had unimaginable abuse to be so terrified. Poor, little girl!

  10. Sheila in WI

    Thanks for the clarification about the blog, Mary. I certainly enjoyed the mini quilt show in the previous post. So good to see Jo outside and smiling, even if it only lasted a short while. Praying for grace for each day.

  11. Kathy in western NY

    I was just thinking of something my husband noticed about our terrier mix rescue that was abused. When she stood by the door to come in, her head went down in a corner to hide before we could even open it to let her in. He said they must have kicked her to make her hide her head. Now I am fearing that Jo is hiding her head so it won’t be kicked. It’s just a thought after the 6 years we have had our dog and see how she still does some things that make us feel so sorry for what she must have endured. I know you look at poor Jo with love and compassion and she knows you are her savior.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy in western NY – just reading about YOUR poor dog gives me shivers and I want to cry for Jo! Just sitting by her on and on will give her hope, I believe, and I will not give up although I do get very discouraged.

  12. Kim J LeMere

    What a super cute t shirt, its perfect for you. It was so nice to see Jo smiling and looking more at ease at least for a little while. You have so much patience for her. It looks like the snow has passed Iowa by so far this season, how weird given its late December. Thank you for working so hard to get the blog just right, I would miss seeing your pictures and hearing the stories from the farm and all those wonderful followers and how it is in there corner of the world right now.

  13. Agatha

    So so sad. When I first started reading the blog I was smiling thinking yeah she is out and happy. Then wham. they really did something very bad to her.
    But you both have come a long way, I know-in my heart it is going to get better.
    Hang in there. Am sending lots of prayers.

  14. Rita in Iowa

    It was so nice to see the happy picture of Jo. I was wondering if you have a little wagon you could put a blanket in to pull Jo outside/inside with. Maybe put it in the room with her and some of the toys. Would be better then having you lift her. Just an idea.

  15. Patty T.

    Jo reminds me of when my daughter took in 2 feral kittens. They had probably been out in the wild a little too long and would only face the corners of a Pampers box for 6 long weeks. They are now lovey and will come out to see me when I visit. One is a little skittish still but she’s a tri legged kitty so doesn’t have the ability to run fast when scared. Hang in there Mary!

  16. Cheryl Regan

    Keep trying with Nora. She will come around. I miss your blog every day and glad you are persisting!

  17. Angie from Baltimore

    It is almost like she is loving life and something clicks and it is like something is telling her that she doesn’t deserve to be happy. I could cry I feel so bad for her. You are her saving grace to allow her a glimpse into what happiness means if only a fleeting moment.

  18. Donna

    I’m asking Santa to bring you a hand lick from Jo for Christmas. You sure deserve it! She is making progress though. Hopefully by New Years she’ll be wagging her tail when she sees you. We can hope really hard for that. Thanks for loving her!

  19. Sue in Oregon

    What a beautiful smile she has. It’s like she forgot she is supposed to be sad, and then she remembered. I think she is making tremendous strides though with you as her caregiver.

  20. Linda in So Cal

    Wonderful seeing Jo outside w/ the gang. She’s making progress! Soon hopefully she will join you, Ivy, Telly & Hazel for a long walk around the farm. She acts like some one showered her with love one minute & the next minute they beat her. She obviously wants to trust you. Springtime weather past few days w/ temp in high 70s & Xmas is days away! Merry Christmas to you & your family….. stay safe…..

  21. Jo in Wyoming

    It is a puzzle how Jo trusts you one minute and just as she is getting comfy, she hides. That trust has been shattered in the past and one little movement or word, all that fear comes back. The two if you will figure it out in due time.
    The wind blew 80 mph yesterday, today, only about 60!!! I’m glad I have lots to do inside. All the duck decoys get a Christmas ribbon. I tried putting a bell on Loretta, woah…that didn’t go over very well. I’ll try a ribbon. She has a box under the tree with a toy. You should see her sniff and paw at it. She knows it’s hers, and wants it now.

    Rub her ears for me.

  22. Ann in PA

    It so nice to see Jo sit up & smile. Bless you for your kindness, she is learning that she’s in a good place. Be patient, be still here, and keep a happy heart.
    Today was cold, dark & dreary. Brrr!

  23. Nikki M in Tx

    Jo is making progress, that is wonderful!
    Sat in floor wrapping a few gifts…I know better!!!
    Had to laugh at myself after I finally managed to get up off floor!!! Baked another batch of Covid compliant cookies, decorating turned out better this time…lol…will drop off with homemade vanilla, bean soup fixin’s, & loaf of pumpkin bread tomorrow.
    Don’t forget to look to the heavens at the Christmas Star tomorrow night, brightest has been in 800 years, so they are saying. Merry Christmas, stay safe, Be Still.

  24. Dorothy

    Oh Mary, what wonderful progress. That’s my neighbor says “little by little”. She is a beautiful dog, love the one picture where she looks so happy. It is in her, she wants to be happy and I believe she wants to love you.
    Now I want to order the red VW Bus and a T-shirt. Not that many dogs.
    May God bless you with a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for all the enjoyable times that I read your blogs
    Dorothy in CA. Dreaming of being in another state.


    Keep up the good work with Jo. You are such a good person. I know she will do fine with you.

  26. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Wow! How delightful to see sweet Jo smiling. The lovely sunshine and Ivy’s company have to be helpful. You are wonderful for her, Mary. Thanks for posting. I hope Rick is feeling better.
    I am cutting fabric at the coffee table and watching tv with dh, a quiet but productive afternoon.

  27. susie Q

    wonder what set Jo off…… sure glad you got the happy photo…… will help you to remember she can be happy….. Happy Sunday

  28. Rosie Westerhold

    Oh, Mary!! LOVE seeing that smile, even if she was hiding after you took it. She is making progress, a little bit at a time. Think I mentioned that it took TWO YEARS before we could easily touch our 9-month old Chow rescue. She wouldn’t even stay in the same room we were in for several years. She is “spooked” by a couple of things, still, but also very loving to us on her terms❤️❤️❤️🥰🥰🥰. That is typical of some Chows, though. Hang in there, and Jo will come around. Hard to k ow what could have happened in their short life to make the, so afraid.

    Hope Rick is doing well, and they get the atrial fibrillation sorted out. My hubby is still in the hospital with a number of things going on. None of them good☹️☹️.

    Be still, and have a Blessed Christmas with your hubby and your many animals. Enjoy the weather while it remains decent.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rosie Westerhold – I am encouraged when I hear your chow took a long time to come out of her shell! Will your husband be home for Christmas? I hope so!

      1. Rosie Westerhold

        My husband came home today. Hallelujah!! We have a long road ahead of us, and we don’t know most of the details just yet. One day at a time, though, and we will get there. Our pups were SO happy daddy was home. They were pretty much Velcroed to him the rest of the day. Think that made him just as happy as being home did. Six days was a LONG time to be gone in the dog world

      2. Rosie Westerhold

        My husband came home today. Hallelujah!! We have a long road ahead of us, and we don’t know most of the details just yet. One day at a time, though, and we will get there. Our pups were SO happy daddy was home. They were pretty much Velcroed to him the rest of the day. Think that made him just as happy as being home did. Six days was a LONG time to be gone in the dog world

  29. Janice Hebert

    So happy that Jo is getting outdoors once in a while but I am concerned that you have to lift her Mary. That can’t be very good for your back or your knees! I know she hides when you bring her in the house with you but does she have accidents as well? Can you just keep her there with all of the activity going on with cats and dogs and see if she’ll become more relaxed? You’ve probably tried that. Just thinking that eventually she might be curious about life inside the house. Poor Jo. Anyway, we got a whopper of a storm the other day! We have about 2′ of snow, the chickens are not happy at all! Supposed to get rain later, just hope it doesn’t freeze over like a skating rink! That would be bad. I love the snow though, lol! Merry Christmas everyone! Be safe. Jan in MA

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Janice Hebert – I brought Jo in to my sewing room yesterday – she has a bed under my sewing island. She did not move for 10 hours! She didn’t eat, drink, walk or potty on puppy pads I laid down for her. After 10 hours I felt she needed to relax in the kennel again. We will keep trying. I do wish she weren’t so heavy.

      1. Janice Hebert

        Wow Mary, that is so strange isn’t it? I’m glad that she seems happy in your kennel area at least. I’m sure you wish she weren’t so heavy! I’ve never dealt with a traumatized dog but it seems that you are doing everything right. And it seems patience will help the most. I’m glad to hear that Rick is home in time for Christmas. Be safe during your blizzard! We are supposed to get a lot of rain from that system. That won’t be fun on top of the snow that’s still left on the ground here. Jan in MA

  30. Lora jans

    This poor, poor girl! The past abuse must have been horrendous for her to still be this scared. Bless you for being so patient with her!

  31. Paula S.

    I’m glad you could be outdoors with the pups today. Poor Jo! What has that poor dog been through?! Goodness, it breaks my heart to see her smiling in one picture and then trying to hide in the others. Mary, you are a saint for your effort to work with her.

  32. Kay Crandall

    Don’t you wonder what kind of cruelty Jo suffered to make her so afraid? It breaks my heart to think about it. Thank goodness she has you, Mary, and is safe. Praying that she will come around with your care and patience – loved the picture of her smiling. Have a good nap – sounds like just the ticket for me right now.

  33. Liz Schrader

    So happy to see Jo outside and happy in that one picture. I feel so bad that someone was mean to her. I am baking Christmas cookies today and tomorrow. I will start pie orders on Wednesday. Stay still!💗

  34. Ellie

    You’re making progress with Jo and I hope she will eventually be able to enjoy life. You have made great strides so far. Hope you can fix the blog to your satisfaction but remember it doesn’t bother us. We just want to hear from you!

  35. Susan K in Texas

    It’s a beautiful day in Texas too. So good to see a picture of Jo where she looks happy. It is taking her time but she is progressing. I’m ripping out quilting. I got two sides of a quilt done and looked at the back. Pleats and ripples everywhere! I know I wouldn’t be happy do am ripping it out. I did get the 7 stockings completed for the Iowa family – three people and four pets. I’ll email a picture. I’m working on cross stitch angels for 2 stockings for here (daughter in law and grandson). I have a hard time seeing the charts with bifocals so it’s a challenge.
    Take care! Be still! Merry Christmas!

  36. ChristieB

    One step forward, two steps back. It’s so encouraging to see her outside with Ivy there and then to see her smiling. If only she could tell you what all she has been through. She is a very blessed dog to have you rescue and work with her.
    So glad to know that you are the one posting – was hoping that you and Rick weren’t having some health issues that you weren’t able to post. Is Rick home from the hospital and has his heart back to normal?
    A Sunday afternoon nap always sounds good! HUGS… and stitches

  37. Maryjane, S. Calif.

    Progress is one step at a time and the picture of her standing in the yard and then smiling was a giant step. Looks like she is eating well . Love the tee shirt – just for you! Bless you for all you do. love, mjb

  38. Kathy Hanson

    Yes, what a beautiful day! I hope you enjoy your nap – we have been delivering some Christmas “goodies” to folks. May go out to bring things to the wonderful folks who now care for our llamas where they live. They are so great!! So good to see that Jo has been doing better, she may always “hide” if she feels stressed but she is obviously doing better with your love and care!

  39. Susan from NY

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. I was told once that Sunday afternoons are made for taking naps!

  40. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Have patience Mary. Jo is coming along, slowly. She actually sat for a pic looking happy so that’s impressive. I’m sure with enough time she will get past her hiding, although she may always do it if stressed or upset about something. It may be her “go to” place… thank you for offering your heart and care to her.

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