Filalie Dog
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Filalie Dog 

Filalie was Betsy & Larry’s sheep dog (that’s our studio house in the background).  Betsy came up with the name after hearing a story read by Paul Bowles that Meatball played one Sunday night on his radio show in Philadelphia.  “Filala” was the name of a Moroccan desert tribe.  In the story, someone is called, “Filala dog!”  Betsy apparently had zoned-out while listening to the story, or she never would have named her dog “Filalie.”  It was much later when she realized what the story was really about.  In Bowles’ The Delicate Prey, that’s set in the Sahara, some very bad things happen. 

“The Delicate Prey” revolves around three members of the Filala tribe who make a journey to a desert town. They take a route that comes close to a dreaded tribe of warriors known for the murders of those traveling through their domain.  On the journey, they meet a lone camel rider who becomes their guide.  No one seems to suspect the man except one of the Filala who questions his motives in serving as their guide.  For those of you who have hearty-ears, give a listen to Bowles reading his story, he really captures what it feels like to be traveling at night out in the Sahara.  If you can’t find the Bowles recording, then read it, it is really “Oh my god!” good!  He pulls no punches. 

All the above aside -

Betsy’s “Filalie” was, as you can see, an Old English Sheepdog.  He even had a proper British bark, “Woof!  By jove!”  (Okay, I made that up)  Being a sheepdog, Filalie loved hanging around our sheep (the one-eared one Max named Picasso), but that arrogant sheep, whenever she saw Filalie, would lower her head and try to butt him.  Filalie never could understand why. 

We never understood how Filalie could see anything.  In the spring, Betsy did trim the hair from his eyes, she took clippers and cut straight across - it looked like he wore bangs.  I wish I could find the photo of his wearing shades.  You’ve probably seen enough photos of dogs wearing silly sunglasses - but when Betsy’s added her felt fedora (that perfectly fit Filalie’s head), he was lookin’ very, very cool.  
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