It’s that time of year again, when mushers and their teams gather in Anchorage for the annual Iditarod race. In honor of this wildly anticipated event, we wanted to introduce you to our favorite sled dog, Sojo, and her human, Pam Flowers. An acclaimed children’s book author, Pam writes about her adventures exploring rugged parts of the country—including the Arctic and the Appalachian Trail—with her beloved sled dogs.
What inspired you to write SOJO?
PF: Most books about sled dogs focus on the lead dog or some dog that unexpectedly saves the day. Seldom does anyone write about an ordinary team-dog like my dog Sojo who spent her life working hard and quietly doing her job.
We’ve all seen dogs approach one another, do a quick sniff, and then engage in some activity – growling, playing, circling, or walking away – and we humans are often left wondering what just happened. Long ago I came to realize that there is a secret world that only dogs know, so I thought it would be fun and challenging to write a story from a dog’s perspective.
Because this is a memoir, Sojo tells about many events that happened in her life instead of focusing on one particular event. Her story helps us understand not only the secret world of dogs but how Sojo became the dog she turned out to be.
Tell us about the real Sojo.
PF: Sojo was the last living member of my dog team that traveled alone across the Arctic with me. Sojo was born January 19, 1992 and passed away September 16, 2008. I still miss her very much.
How can readers find out more about your arctic explorations?
PF: Our adventures are told in five books– Alone across the Arctic, Big-Enough Anna, Douggie, Ordinary Dogs, and Sojo (which, like Big-Enough Anna, is illustrated by my friend Bill Farnsworth.) I hope kids enjoy them!