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Archive for June 18th, 2022

A Very Special Gift

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Turkey Tracks: June 18, 2022

A Very Special Gift

Jan Corson came yesterday with this little gift for me—which she made using a photo of AC Slater. Jan is a very talented maker of needle punch felting.

This special, special gift is one of the most thoughtful and cherished I have ever been given. Look! Jan even got AC’s orange collar and the little medallion inscribed with his name and my telephone number. And all his markings are accurate.

Right now, felted AC Slater is guarding the dining room table and listening for squirrels to chase outside.

I’ve done a little research on ”feist” dogs these past few weeks. I suppose as a way to understand and reach out to my little lost dog.

Look at this picture that popped up on the Rescue Me rescue site. You would think AC posed for it. And note that feist dogs can look very, very different from AC Slater—depending on their particular blends of terrier and hounds.

Up here in Maine, I am a very long way from where feist dogs and rat terriers are more prevalent. And I don’t know that I would try to get another feist—as they do require daily heavy exercise and want to be doing things with their human many times during any one day. Feists are…connected…to their humans, body and soul.

AC was a one-off “homemade” accident feist doggie, which is the best kind. There is no way that I could ever just replace him with another feist. And I’m not sure I want to replace him anyway. Perhaps at 77 years, a big personality dog with lots of energy is not the best idea. But maybe a doggie that serves as my ears (I am really deaf without my hearing aids) and warns me when people come on the property is a good idea.

But I am so not ready yet to get another dog. And I think it will be like another friend said one day after AC died: ”one day another nose will poke at you and the magic will happen again.”

Feists developed in the rural South and are a mixture of terriers and other breeds, among them formally beagles, whippets, and Italian greyhounds—but many other hounds can be involved, which I think was true for AC doggie.  The “mountain feists” are highly prized in the Southern Appalachian mountains, and puppies can sell for as much as $3000+.  Some are trying to get these dogs declared a recognized breed.  

Feists are trackers—not retrievers. They like to tree animals and hold them there until their hunting companion, a human, comes.  They will bark at the base of a tree until the other half of the team arrives.  Otherwise, they are not overly “barky.” They are death on four feet for rodents of all kinds if they trap them on the ground.  They shake a caught prey, which kills it quickly.  They have really soft, thick short coats; have webbed feet for swimming; need some challenging exercise EVERY DAY; are great with people and are not overly aggressive; insist on lots of daily “play” with their human; are really smart and easily trained; and will do destructive things in a house if left alone!!!!  And they can be prone to allergies—which did happen with AC if you recall the years I made him fish dinners as he couldn’t eat any other kind of meat protein.

Yep!  AC doggie fits that description to a “t.”

And I still miss him, but I am moving on and developing different daily life patterns.

AC was a gift, lent to me for only a short period of time.

Written by louisaenright

June 18, 2022 at 9:20 am