Sasha of the Chukchi Sea

close up shot of a blue whippet in a pink fleece holding a book

We received a wonderful surprise in the post from our lovely blogging friend Paz from Armchair Zen. He has written two books about Sasha of the Chukchi Sea that were inspired by his rescue dog Sasha, who blogs here.

The first book in the series is called Homestead.

The story begins just before Sasha is born at a homestead in the Arctic Circle to a wonderful mum who lives with many other dogs and a loving and caring human family. The family have also adopted a dog called Kotka, who had been badly treated by his previous owner. Kotka is very defensive at first and we can understand why he would be wary after all he’d been through.

close up shot of a blue and white whippet in a pink fleece with a book

As Sasha grows up she learns how to be part of a sledge team and they set off on a journey across frozen rivers and deep snow to a trading post at Dezhnevo. They meet other mushers with their own dog packs who come to trade, including a man called Tun. Some of the people arriving from further across the tundra have their sledges pulled by reindeer.

The story is told with a lot of warmth and a great understanding of dogs and their different personalities. The delightful banter and singing of the sledge dogs whilst they’re mushing made us laugh out loud!

We loved the scenery, the adventures when out on the trails and learned a lot about life for the dogs in these remote and cold conditions. We were also given a glimpse of Chukchi culture and their sense of community, even when the people and animals of this community live very far apart. Most of the journeys are more than a day away and include setting up an overnight camp.

a black whippet in a red fleece with a dog toy and two books in the living room

The second book in the series is called Lodge.

Sasha and her brother Anchu leave their home to begin a new life with Tun in the second book, an overwhelming experience for both of them to begin with. The way the loving voice of their mother continues to travel with them is beautifully told. They are now part of a new pack and quickly bond with their new team mates and their larger than life musher Tun. Tun appears to have no family of his own and he treats every person and dog he meets like family.

They quickly feel at home at Tun’s lodge and he lets the dogs roam freely when they’re not working. They travel to a larger settlement to take part in a dog race and soon after that their world is turned upside down by soldiers clearing and burning down settlements, leaving the rest of them to flee.

Sasha and the team need to be at their strongest and work together to deal with what happens next. They are reunited with their friend Kotka and the deep and independently minded Larik makes all the dogs consider whether they wouldn’t be better off living in the wild, without the humans and sledges that can keep them trapped in dangerous situations. Don’t think of it as the wilderness, he says, think of it as Home.

We really enjoyed these two books and think they will appeal to dog lovers and people of all ages with an interest in Chukchi culture, sledge dogs and the great outdoors. Scott (Paz) is a great story teller and brings a beautiful sense of balance by looking at potentially difficult situations from different perspectives, even zooming in and out of the cosmos to marvel at the tiny specs in the snow the characters in these stories are.

Homestead and Lodge by Scott R O’Connor are both available from Amazon. He is currently working on his third book in the series called Caravan. We are looking forward to reading what happens next!

a black whippet in a red fleece sitting on the floor indoors

A very big thank you to Scott for sending us these lovely books, we will treasure them. Our companion is looking forward to reading Armchair Zen – Gleanings, very soon too.

Wishing you all a very happy Friday and a wonderful weekend,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/500 s – ISO 160, f/2.8 – 1/640 s – ISO 160, f/2.8 – 1/60 s – ISO 200 and f/2.8 – 1/15 s – ISO 200.

Your Daily Word Prompt: Provision

Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.

21 thoughts on “Sasha of the Chukchi Sea”

    1. Thank you dear Cathy, they’re really lovely and I’ll now have to think of these characters every time we hear huskies singing in the woods πŸ˜πŸ’œ A lovely and peaceful weekend to you too from all of us here πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ• xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It almost seems conceited for me to “like” this post, but I must admit I do!
    I was surprised to see a post in my inbox “Sasha of the Chukchi Sea”, as I didn’t remember posting anything. (I am a bit old, so…)
    Thanks for the great synopsis and review, and sharing the stories.
    They belong in hands such as yours.

    On behalf of Sasha as well, I thank you!

    Best regards,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Paz and thank you again for sending us these lovely books. We think they will appeal to many dog lovers and are delighted to spread the word. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and please give Sasha a big pat from us all πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eivor and Pearl seem to be very interested in these books. And why not? Very interesting subjects. I had a brief visit to the Yukon many years ago and met a sled dog team there. Have an enjoyable weekend Xenia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Anne, Eivor and Pearl were very interested! It must have been a wonderful experience to visit the Yukon and meet the sledge dogs, it looks beautiful there. A very happy weekend to you too and please give Biasini a big pat from us all πŸ’—πŸŽ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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