Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Mountain Feist named Dilly

This is a picture of my husband, Phil, and our dog, Dilly. She will be 3 in May. We bought her from an Amish farmer for $20.00 (Her adoption story, "Silly Dilly," was posted on 9-8-14.)

When we take her for walks, people often ask us what she is. We used to say we didn't know. Sometimes, to avoid getting into a discussion, I'd just say she was an Amish Akita. The response was usually a second look and a sage nod. Those with opinions often suggested "rat terrier with maybe some Jack Russell."  Finally, someone who actually knew what he was talking about pronounced her "a mountain feist" without a moment's hesitation.  He is Amish, too, or at least he was, having left his community, but he said the farmer who'd sold her was known for breeding and raising this type of dog.

So what's a "feist?" My dad used to call me "a feist" when I was kindergarten age, so I suppose, when it's human,  it's something small and mischievous.  The second time I encountered the word was in The Bear, a short novel by William Faulkner. Only Faulkner called it a "fice." George Washington had a feist and Abraham Lincoln mentioned the feist in a poem he wrote, according to Wikipedia. The Wikipedia article characterized the feist as a small hunting dog that originated in Appalachia. It trees its prey and its prey is the squirrel. That's Dilly. She rushes furiously out the door at the mere sight of a squirrel at the bird feeder, but she loses interest once the squirrel is high in the tree. This is probably not a good trait in a hunter. Dilly is protective of my husband and me, and slow to warm up to strangers. Once she decides you're all right, though, you've got a friend for life.

You can find out more about dogs like Dilly by checking out the "Mountain Feist Squirrel Dog" page on Facebook.


S. J. Qualls said...

Dilly is one pretty girl! I know what you mean about the rush out the door - I think if one of you reacted positively about the squirrel, she would stick to her guns and not lose interest.

peppylady (Dora) said...

What every Dilly is she got a good home.
Coffee is on

KathyA said...

Dilly is a handsome pooch!!

PseudoPiskie said...

Great looking dog. Seems to be my favorite size dog - large but not too large. Sturdy enough for a good floor wrestle.