Barchelle (“Chelly”) Bolger Wathen has always loved dogs, her own as well as shelter dogs. Her world changed forever when Chelly and her husband adopted a very special dog, Shayla, from Ukraine. This remarkable shepherd/wolfdog, abandoned as a puppy, learned to love and trust those who raised her at the Christian orphanage Otchiy Dim (Father’s House), before she came to America.
Chelly was so inspired, not just by Shayla’s life, but also by Roman Korniyko and his family (who operate Father’s House), the orphans, and the courage of the Ukrainian people despite the turmoil of war, that she wrote Shayla and Friends to share their true story. Shayla’s Adventure: What’s Across the Ocean was written to inspire kids who have also experienced challenges.
Chelly grew up and lived in San Diego, CA, retired as a senior paralegal, then moved to Prescott in 2021. She enjoys writing, volunteering with DogTree Pines dogs, working with NACOG, and outdoor activities with Shayla.