On my command, Togo leaped to one side with his full weight straining against the collar, then another leap to the left and the sled runners were loosened. And those who lost against Seppala's lean, smaller-frame dogs disdainfully called them "Siberian rats." Diphtheria was called the “strangling angel of children,” because it releases a toxin that shuts down its victim’s windpipe. Leonhard Seppala, the legendary musher who piloted Togo’s sled, and who happened to breed and raise Balto as well, later said that he was bothered by all the fame Balto gained while Togo got widely forgotten. He was tapped to anchor the serum relay team. The city, located approximately 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle, had a population of just under 1,000. However, another musher put together a team using seppalas other dogs, one of which was balto, to go to the final checkpoint and grab the serum. The dog he thought deserved praise, instead of Balto, was Togo. He is the mate of Jenna and father of Aleu, Kodi, Dingo, Saba, and two other unnamed pups. When Togo was about 14, Seppala gave him to his Maine kennel partner, Elizabeth Ricker, trusting that Togo would live out his life in ease. It was from Universal, not Disney. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Togo, named for the Japanese admiral Togo Heihachiro (1848-1934), was born in 1913 and developed into Seppala's favorite. In one dramatic scene, Togo has reached shore, but the sled with the medicine has gotten stuck on floating ice on the other side of a frigid channel of water. Of the 20 mushers on the relay, Seppala ran the greatest distance, and through some of the most dangerous conditions on the trail. "I had watched his dogs perform and answered with a challenge that my Togo, who weighed only 48 pounds in harness, could pull any load that Walden's Chinook could. Young children were especially vulnerable to it. Since 1925, Balto has earned universal acclaim, legions of fans, and a commemorative bronze statue in New York City’s Central Park. Named after Heihachiro Togo, a Japanese Admiral who fought in the war between Russia and Japan (1904-05), Togo was the lead sled dog of Leonhard Seppala. Trains could bring it to within around 700 miles of Nome, and the team hoped bush planes could take it from there. It was the only way. Subscribe to our newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest outdoor news. Find more newsletters on our. They worried that the fatality rate for those infected would be 100 percent. And in December 1925, a statue of Balto was erected in New York City's Central Park. Nome’s medical team put out a call for help—and found that the nearest supply of serum was in a storehouse outside Anchorage. Kingiak, my Eskimo helper, hid one of Walden's farm chickens under his parka and stepped out ahead of Togo a distance of 20 feet or so. A short film titled Balto's Race to Nome was made to honor the lead dog. When the expedition was cancelled, the team was given to Seppala. Hence, Seppala bred, named, raised and trained Balto but did not race with him. Thank you. He achieved fame when he led a team of sled dogs on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome, in which diphtheria antitoxin was transported from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nenana, Alaska, by train and then to Nome by dog sled to combat an outbreak of the disease. Balto was Kaasen’s lead dog during the serum run and thus was at the forefront as the team entered Nome carrying the lifesaving serum. Balto’s remains were mounted by a taxidermist and exhibited in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Kaasen had relied heavily on Balto to find the way during whiteout conditions, and the young dog had performed admirably. It is important to note that Balto was not the original name of this dog, but Togo. "The sled was loaded with several sacks of cement onto which Walden hooked his dog. Balto lived there comfortably until his death in 1933 at age 11. I knew that Togo could do better but felt that here was an opportunity to inject a little comedy into the act. Filter by post type. FACTS ABOUT TOGO . EDIT: As allowed by the commissioner I adjusted some colours around a bit and made Togo more brown (as Agouti is a bit more brown in colour), changed his eyes to an icier blue and lightened his nose a bit to be a bit more 'liver' if anything. Balto "stole Togo's thunder" because Seppala, Togo, and the rest of the team ran more miles than anyone else as well as across the Norton sound to save an entire day. Togo was 12 years old when he and Seppala were called to assist in the epic rescue effort in 1925. Balto did lead the canine team over the final 55-mile stretch of the journey (he was still leading the pack when it arrived in the city itself). "Walden had bragged that his Chinook would break out and pull a heavier load than any dog in the country," Seppala wrote. He investigated some gold claims of his own, and later worked for a mining company, employed by Jafet Lindeberg, one of the three famous "Lucky Swedes" who discovered gold on Anvil Creek in 1898. Looking for something else? Both Balto and Togo were part of the 1925 serum run to Nome, Alaska, where a diphtheria outbreak plagued the town's children. He also held the record time between Nenana and Nulato, as well as many other local races in the years to follow. Although neither of us smoked, we bet two cigars on the result. During 10 days in 1929, they drew 20,000 people to New York City's Madison Square Garden. The people of Nome realized that sled dogs would have to carry the 20-pound package of medicine to their city through the storm. Seppala had been winning races with Togo for years and considered Togo his finest dog, says Laney Salisbury, coauthor of The Cruelest Miles, a history of the serum run. Quote. balto is a famous lead dog in 1925, when there was a desiese spreading in Nome alaska. Here’s another moment in the flim that seems too good to be true but is: Because of Togo’s diminutive size as a puppy, his owner once gave him away to a family to keep as a house pet. And having a racing body was THE measure of breeding material back then. He broke through a window and ran back to Seppala’s sledding kennels, a scene that occurs early in the movie. (Jan 2, 2020) Due to an editing error, this story has been updated to correct the distributor of the 1995 Balto movie. The sled dog who did the lion's share of the work was Togo. Thinking it would be up to him and the other man, Seppala was already on the trail when territorial Governor Scott Bone amended the plan to incorporate mail-carrier mushers and make it a 20-team relay. Originally Seppala and one other musher were going to carry the serum all the way, the first musher traveling from Nenana to Nulato; Seppala, from Nulato to Nome. (A vaccine was later developed that has virtually eliminated the disease.) In one account of Togo's bravery, Seppala and the team were stranded for several hours on a Norton Sound ice floe after the ice on which they were traveling broke free. After the race, Kaasen, who by then owned Balto, took his leader and other team members on a celebrity tour of the West Coast for a year. As it turns out, Balto was just one of more than 100 pups who made that lifesaving dogsled relay to Nome possible. Seppala drove dogs between the camps, moving supplies and transporting miners who needed medical care in Nome. This is accurately depicted in the movie. Balto was the name of a Siberian Husky, born in 1923 and died 1933. Balto is the titular main protagonist of the Balto trilogy. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. At Seppala's urging, Togo jumped across a five-foot gap to shore ice in his harness to pull the floe closer to shore. In the end, Togo and the Seppala team ran 260 miles, while other mushers ran between 25 and 40 miles each. Togo, which stars Willem Dafoe, promises to chart the life of the historically overlooked pup who made the crucial delivery of medicine possible. Read more about our policy. Apr 19, 2020 - Explore Summer Bentley's board "balto and togo" on Pinterest. Some 170 miles into the journey, just outside Shakloolik, Seppala was intercepted by another musher who shouted that he had the serum. In a feat of athleticism and frankly un-doglike ingenuity, Togo grabs the lead rope in his mouth and pulls the sled ashore. When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. In the winter of 1925, a deadly illness struck the city of Nome, Alaska. Togo was born in Little Creek, AK sometime in October of 1913. Includes the aftermath as it affected Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog Togo and Gunnar Kaasen and his … Gunnar Kaasen, an assistant to Seppala, chose a three-year-old freight dog named Balto to lead on his portion of the relay. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. But you’ve heard this story. After touring, Kaasen sold Balto and the rest of the team to a vaudeville sideshow. Balto recived ALL the credit, while Togo actually did the most work. Outside does not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Text. This—and we cannot stress this enough—actually happened. Seppala felt that Balto was not good enough to put on his own team for the Serum Run. Audio. Another musher, Gunnar Kaasen, put his faith in a green youngster, 3-year-old Balto. He competed with his beloved sleek, lightweight Siberian huskies and enjoyed watching the aged Togo continue to beat the odds. May 3, 2018 By Divya. We came to Togo skeptical, but now we’re sold: the original Balto film left out the journey’s most interesting character. Check out our entire suite of free newsletters here. Several years earlier, a flu epidemic had killed off half of Nome’s indigenous population. While Kaasen and Balto were given much of the glory, it was Seppala and Togo who insiders knew had truly saved the day. Thousands would die. balto and togo < > Most recent. And Togo was an infant prodigy. He was, however, not considered breeding material by his owner, Leonhard Seppala, as he did not "cut" a racing profile. our entire suite of free newsletters here. In later years he and his wife Constance would split their time between Seattle and Fairbanks. Ultimately, Seppala and New England musher Elizabeth Ricker chose to open a kennel of Sib… Togo lived out his life in Maine, and Seppala visited him often. With Togo in the lead in what would be his final race, the much-smaller Siberians triumphed. Since Seppala didn't pay much of … For all the true dogsledding aficionados out there, we broke down the real history of Togo and Balto’s now legendary run to Nome. The nearest stores of medicine were hundreds of miles away, across the state’s snowy interior. Today he stands in a glass case at Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, where admirers can view the husky who was Nome's dog hero in the Serum Run of 1925. Still, Togo was arguably the team’s most impressive canine in sheer distance—he ran more than 350 miles total, more than any dog in the pack—as well as heroics. He’d been born a smaller-than-average puppy in 1913 but quickly distinguished himself as a sled dog, running 75 miles his first time in a harness. Many of you may know the story of Balto and other sled dogs delivering the diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska in 1925. But that week, record-setting cold weather and gale-force winds swept across Alaska, grounding the only rickety planes in the area. When a Cleveland businessman called attention to the dogs' horrible living conditions, the city's people held fundraisers to purchase them, with children donating their pennies for the cause of rescuing Balto. Chinook could not even start the load until Walden had kicked the runners loose from the snow. Ask. Grid View List View. The real hero was actually another husky named Togo, the runt of his litter who surprised everyone with his strength and intelligence, and who pulled the sleigh for the longest and most hazardous distance (while he was 11 years old no less) until his exhausted self had to let Balto do the finishing miles. Togo the Sled Dog who lost his fame to Balto. Togo, the dog that started the 650-mile run across Alaska during a 1925 storm finished by Balto, finally gets his due in a new movie, “Togo,” streaming Friday on Disney+. The little dog with the big heart died on December 5, 1929, at age 16, and his remains were mounted and returned to Alaska. He was later mounted and added to the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. As the story goes, his harness snapped from the strain of pulling, but Togo jumped into the water after it, took the harness in his teeth and kept pulling, closing the gap so the team could get to shore. the sleds would pass the medicene down to each team to bring back the medicene. The dog that often gets credit for eventually saving the town is Balto, but he just happened to run the last, 55-mile leg in the race. Gunnar Kaasen and Balto in their race to Nome. Of Togo and Balto. Unaware of the change, Seppala took a shortcut across Norton Sound in perilous conditions. About a year after the serum run, Seppala took Togo and 40 other dogs on a cross-country tour with an Alaska Native dog handler named Kingiak. Their owner, Norwegian-born Leonhard Seppala, came to Nome during the height of its gold rush on June 14, 1900. Togo (1913 – December 5, 1929) was the lead sled dog of Leonhard Seppala and his dog sled team in the 1925 serum run to Nome across central and northern Alaska. No single dog deserves all the credit for saving Nome. His eyes were also lightened as well. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, Thanks for signing up! The dogs were imports from Siberia, a team of huskies that were intended for a polar expedition headed by Roald Amundsen. Togo and Balto were the lead dogs on Leonhard Seppala’s and Gunnar Kaasen’s teams which helped deliver antitoxin to Nome in 1925 to stem a diphtheria epidemic. Long after his death, he was toasted in children's books, television specials, and even in an animated feature film produced by Steve Spielberg. Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today. In the winter of 1925, Nome had a supply of antitoxin, the serum then used to treat diphtheria, but it had all expired. Balto had a good rest of his life, wallowing in fame and fourtune, while Togo got none.Togo was awarded an award in front of a small crowd, but that wasn't enough to top Balto's fame. Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In 1928 Seppala made Chatanika, near Fairbanks, his Alaska home, and was warmed when the American Kennel Club accepted the Siberian Husky as a registered breed in 1930. Gunnar Kaasen was exhausted, frostbitten and snowblind when Balto led him into Nome on February 2, 1925, after treading 53 miles of rugged trail. Seppala traveled all the way to New England and took on a team of local Chinooksin a friendly sled dog race. He led the team through many miles and dangerous types of weather to reach Nome but, after being replaced by Balto in the last leg of the journey, the misunderstanding took place. Guuner Kaasen with Balto… Togo is on display at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race headquarters cabin in Wasilla; Balto is still at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Cleveland, Ohio. An in-depth look at the "Great Race of Mercy" that involved 20 mushers and 150 sled dogs. Correction: Balto vs. Togo Developed by: Kelly Villar Discipline / Subject: ELA Topic: Compare and contrast two of the great dogs of the Serum Run, Balto and Togo. Chat. See more ideas about Dog sledding, Togo, Iditarod. The town’s single doctor and four nurses watched helplessly as a three-year-old boy died, soon followed by a seven-year-old girl. Balto … Enter our story’s hero: Togo, who was already a champion racer by 1925 but whose running days were largely behind him. In the years following the serum run, Seppala made trips to the Lower 48 states with his heroic sled dogs. Seppala collected it, turned and carried it to Golovin, another 91 miles. THE GREAT ALASKAN RACE tells the historical, true story of Leonhard ‘Sepp’ Seppala (Brian Presley; Home of the Brave, Touchback) and his champion mushing dogs, Togo and Balto, during the great serum run of 1925. An outbreak of diphtheria had bloomed in Nome and without a delivery of antitoxin, the population of the entire region would be exposed. The 1995 movie Balto immortalized it for a generation: the eponymous dog rallied the team that brought the lifesaving serum through the Alaskan wilds, heroically saving the city’s children. He commented: "It was almost more than I could bear when the ‘newspaper dog' Balto received a statue for his ‘glorious achievements.'" The temperature was estimated at 30 F (34 C) and the gale force winds causing a wind chill of 85 F (65 C). Togo, which stars Willem Dafoe, promises to chart the life of the historically overlooked pup who made the crucial delivery of medicine possible. - Unlike Togo, Balto ran more true to the usual size for Siberian huskies at the time...about 55-60 pounds. Share your thoughts, experiences and the tales behind the art. But a different dog, Togo, ran more than double the distance of any other dog on the team and led it through some of the riskiest spots. Balto received an outsized portion of the fame from the journey, including more acclaim than Togo. With the port closed … Seppala and Togo were celebrities. Sadly, Balto was sold, along with other dogs to Cleveland Zoo, where he lived until 14 years of age. We hope you’ll support us. Both dogs were Siberian huskies, a breed brought to Alaska from Siberia by William Goosak, a Russian fur trader. That talent served Togo well on the serum run: at one point, the intrepid pup led the team across 40 miles of Bering Sea ice in the face of an oncoming storm. He was voiced by Kevin Bacon in the first film and Maurice LaMarche in the sequels. So Balto was larger than Togo. When Togo was very young, an ailment caused his throat to swell. He later spoke of how difficult it was to say goodbye and hit the trail without Togo for the first time in 12 years. The saga began when a doctor diagnosed the first case of diphtheria, a deadly illness, in a young boy in Nome in January 1925. Balto later inspired a 1995 animated movie that was loosely based on his story. With Seppala, 19 other dog mushers and their teams were enlisted to carry the life-saving diphtheria serum in a relay across 675 miles of wilderness during the dead of winter. Viewers of Togo might assume its most cinematic moments are the product of Hollywood’s creative license, but they would be wrong. Subscribe to our What You Missed newsletter for the top headlines from the outdoor world, in your inbox six days a week. Walden was a good sport and conceded that Togo had won the cigars for me." Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. The dog and his companions were moved to the Cleveland Zoo, and thousands came to cheer him on his first day in retirement. While Balto got all of the credit for the serum run, it was actually another dog, Togo, that covered the longest and most hazardous section of the trail. A new Disney movie starring Willem Dafoe promises to chart the life of a historically overlooked pup who made the lifesaving delivery of medicine possible. All posts. Even though he covered more distance (260 miles) than his co-sledder Balto (55 miles), he didn't get as much fame. He was given this name in memory of the Norwegian explorer Samuel Balto, popular in Nome during the gold rush. The serum run trail trekked nearly 700 miles from Anchorage to Nome in treacherous blizzard conditions. Known from the Great Race for Mercy carrying diptheria serum 365 miles across the Alaskan wilderness saving thousands of children. His competitor was a large mixed-breed dog named Chinook, owned by another musher and dog breeder, Arthur Walden, who had prospected in the Yukon. While many details of the great Serum Run of 1925 have faded into history, the names of two famous Alaska dogs, Togo and Balto, have spanned the decades. Most popular Most recent. He was a back up dog after TOGO. According to Gay and Laney Salisbury’s The Cruelest Mile, a 2003 history of the serum run, Togo was a living legend among Alaskan dogsledders, “a natural-born lead dog.” Although Togo was 12 years old in January 1925, he was still fast and strong. Their owner, Norwegian-born Leonhard Seppala, came to Nome during the height of its gold rush on June 14, 1900. Balto (1919 – March 14, 1933) was a Siberian Husky and sled dog belonging to musher and breeder Leonhard Seppala. But felt that Balto was not good enough to put on his portion of the work was Togo only! 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