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. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, Thanks for signing up! - Unlike Togo, Balto ran more true to the usual size for Siberian huskies at the time...about 55-60 pounds. 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. 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. 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. In the winter of 1925, Nome had a supply of antitoxin, the serum then used to treat diphtheria, but it had all expired. The dog he thought deserved praise, instead of Balto, was Togo. 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. Ask. Link. Quote. 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). No single dog deserves all the credit for saving Nome. 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. 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. Long after his death, he was toasted in children's books, television specials, and even in an animated feature film produced by Steve Spielberg. The serum run trail trekked nearly 700 miles from Anchorage to Nome in treacherous blizzard conditions. Chinook could not even start the load until Walden had kicked the runners loose from the snow. Hence, Seppala bred, named, raised and trained Balto but did not race with him. 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. In the 1916 All-Alaska Sweepstakes he traveled 410 miles in 80 hours, 38 minutes, and 5 seconds. Thank you. Togo, named for the Japanese admiral Togo Heihachiro (1848-1934), was born in 1913 and developed into Seppala's favorite. Balto later inspired a 1995 animated movie that was loosely based on his story. Seppala handily won Nome's All-Alaska Sweepstakes in 1915, 1916, and 1917 with his Siberians. Both Balto and Togo were part of the 1925 serum run to Nome, Alaska, where a diphtheria outbreak plagued the town's children. 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. 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. As it turns out, Balto was just one of more than 100 pups who made that lifesaving dogsled relay to Nome possible. Seppala collected it, turned and carried it to Golovin, another 91 miles. Balto lived there comfortably until his death in 1933 at age 11. In the years following the serum run, Seppala made trips to the Lower 48 states with his heroic sled dogs. 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 Togo, a new movie that hits the Disney+ platform on December 20, corrects the historical record in favor of an underdog. It was from Universal, not Disney. An outbreak of diphtheria had bloomed in Nome and without a delivery of antitoxin, the population of the entire region would be exposed. The little dog with the big heart died on December 5, 1929, at age 16, and his remains were mounted and returned to Alaska. Suggen, who was part Malamute, was Seppala's leader in the All Alaskan Sweepstakes in 1914. Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. 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. Step aside, Balto, Disney+ is giving us another very good doggo his due in the Dec. 20 premiere of the streaming site's original movie based on a true story, Togo… 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. our entire suite of free newsletters here. We hope you’ll support us. Togo lived out his life in Maine, and Seppala visited him often. But that week, record-setting cold weather and gale-force winds swept across Alaska, grounding the only rickety planes in the area. Subscribe to our What You Missed newsletter for the top headlines from the outdoor world, in your inbox six days a week. Find more newsletters on our. See more ideas about Dog sledding, Togo, Iditarod. He was, however, not considered breeding material by his owner, Leonhard Seppala, as he did not "cut" a racing profile. Audio. Diphtheria was called the “strangling angel of children,” because it releases a toxin that shuts down its victim’s windpipe. The heavier black husky was named after one of the first men to cross the Greenland Ice Cap, Samuel J. Balto. In his book, Early Sled Dog Racing in Maine: A Frying Pan of Hot Meat Wrecked My Chances in the First Race, Seppala described how Togo, now in his teens, entered a weight-pull contest against another dog twice his size. After touring, Kaasen sold Balto and the rest of the team to a vaudeville sideshow. In the end, Togo and the Seppala team ran 260 miles, while other mushers ran between 25 and 40 miles each. "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. May 3, 2018 By Divya. "The sled was loaded with several sacks of cement onto which Walden hooked his dog. To deliver the antitoxin, more than 20 mushers and 100 dogs carried the medicine from a train line near Fairbanks (where temperatures hovered around minus 50 degrees), along the Yukon River, over a frozen bay, and finally along the Bering Sea coast. Enter our story’s hero: Togo, who was already a champion racer by 1925 but whose running days were largely behind him. Ultimately, Seppala and New England musher Elizabeth Ricker chose to open a kennel of Sib… He was voiced by Kevin Bacon in the first film and Maurice LaMarche in the sequels. He is the mate of Jenna and father of Aleu, Kodi, Dingo, Saba, and two other unnamed pups. To inspire active participation in the world outside through award-winning coverage of the sports, people, places, adventure, discoveries, health and fitness, gear and apparel, trends and events that make up an active lifestyle. "Walden had bragged that his Chinook would break out and pull a heavier load than any dog in the country," Seppala wrote. Balto is now actually more black in colour than brown and I added some spotting on his front forelegs. We came to Togo skeptical, but now we’re sold: the original Balto film left out the journey’s most interesting character. Known from the Great Race for Mercy carrying diptheria serum 365 miles across the Alaskan wilderness saving thousands of children. Most popular Most recent. Of the 20 mushers on the relay, Seppala ran the greatest distance, and through some of the most dangerous conditions on the trail. 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. Seppala traveled all the way to New England and took on a team of local Chinooksin a friendly sled dog race. Balto recived ALL the credit, while Togo actually did the most work. Photo. He broke through a window and ran back to Seppala’s sledding kennels, a scene that occurs early in the movie. (A vaccine was later developed that has virtually eliminated the disease.) Many of you may know the story of Balto and other sled dogs delivering the diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska in 1925. Correction: The dog and his companions were moved to the Cleveland Zoo, and thousands came to cheer him on his first day in retirement. Togo the Sled Dog who lost his fame to Balto. 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. 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. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. He was a back up dog after TOGO. 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. Balto would be celebrated in newspapers across the national as the dog who delivered the serum and saved the town. In the winter of 1925, a deadly illness struck the city of Nome, Alaska. Looking for something else? 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. Includes the aftermath as it affected Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog Togo and Gunnar Kaasen and his … The dogs were imports from Siberia, a team of huskies that were intended for a polar expedition headed by Roald Amundsen. Kaasen had relied heavily on Balto to find the way during whiteout conditions, and the young dog had performed admirably. They created a stir from the West Coast through the Midwest and onward to New England. Filter by post type. Gunnar Kaasen, an assistant to Seppala, chose a three-year-old freight dog named Balto to lead on his portion of the relay. 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. Since 1925, Balto has earned universal acclaim, legions of fans, and a commemorative bronze statue in New York City’s Central Park. He commented: "It was almost more than I could bear when the ‘newspaper dog' Balto received a statue for his ‘glorious achievements.'" Since Seppala didn't pay much of … Just then Kingiak let the chicken clap his wings and Togo was upon him in a couple of jumps with a loaded sled following easily behind. For all the true dogsledding aficionados out there, we broke down the real history of Togo and Balto’s now legendary run to Nome. On an interesting side note, despite Gunnar Kaasen being the musher that guided Balto, Leonhard Seppala owned both Balto and Togo. Seppala chose his most experienced dog, 12-year-old Togo, as his leader. The people of Nome realized that sled dogs would have to carry the 20-pound package of medicine to their city through the storm. Balto had a 20-muinite silent film made about him, called Balto's Race to Nome. 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. He competed with his beloved sleek, lightweight Siberian huskies and enjoyed watching the aged Togo continue to beat the odds. Their owner, Norwegian-born Leonhard Seppala, came to Nome during the height of its gold rush on June 14, 1900. Their owner, Norwegian-born Leonhard Seppala, came to Nome during the height of its gold rush on June 14, 1900. Read more about our policy. the sleds would pass the medicene down to each team to bring back the medicene. 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. With Togo in the lead in what would be his final race, the much-smaller Siberians triumphed. The sled dog who did the lion's share of the work was Togo. Unaware of the change, Seppala took a shortcut across Norton Sound in perilous conditions. 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. He was tapped to anchor the serum relay team. 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. Viewers of Togo might assume its most cinematic moments are the product of Hollywood’s creative license, but they would be wrong. With the port closed … This—and we cannot stress this enough—actually happened. Text. It was the only way. Togo and Balto, both Seppala Siberians, would perform spectacularly, demonstrating their superior bloodlines and training. Of Togo and Balto. Both dogs were Siberian huskies, a breed brought to Alaska from Siberia by William Goosak, a Russian fur trader. Balto’s remains were mounted by a taxidermist and exhibited in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. 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. In a feat of athleticism and frankly un-doglike ingenuity, Togo grabs the lead rope in his mouth and pulls the sled ashore. He is the main protagonist of Balto and the deuteragonist of Balto II: Wolf Quest and Balto III: Wings of Change. Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today. 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. They worried that the fatality rate for those infected would be 100 percent. The city, located approximately 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle, had a population of just under 1,000. Video. At Seppala's urging, Togo jumped across a five-foot gap to shore ice in his harness to pull the floe closer to shore. 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. Balto was the name of a Siberian Husky, born in 1923 and died 1933. Share your thoughts, experiences and the tales behind the art. Togo, which stars Willem Dafoe, promises to chart the life of the historically overlooked pup who made the crucial delivery of medicine possible. 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. It is important to note that Balto was not the original name of this dog, but Togo. Togo was born in Little Creek, AK sometime in October of 1913. Sadly, Balto was sold, along with other dogs to Cleveland Zoo, where he lived until 14 years of age. During 10 days in 1929, they drew 20,000 people to New York City's Madison Square Garden. Seppala was stung that it was Balto, not Togo, who was the darling of the country. 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. So Balto was larger than Togo. His eyes were also lightened as well. 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. The saga began when a doctor diagnosed the first case of diphtheria, a deadly illness, in a young boy in Nome in January 1925. When the expedition was cancelled, the team was given to Seppala. FACTS ABOUT TOGO . A short film titled Balto's Race to Nome was made to honor the lead dog. While Kaasen and Balto were given much of the glory, it was Seppala and Togo who insiders knew had truly saved the day. Several years earlier, a flu epidemic had killed off half of Nome’s indigenous population. I knew that Togo could do better but felt that here was an opportunity to inject a little comedy into the act. Walden was a good sport and conceded that Togo had won the cigars for me." Togo, which stars Willem Dafoe, promises to chart the life of the historically overlooked pup who made the crucial delivery of medicine possible. Some 170 miles into the journey, just outside Shakloolik, Seppala was intercepted by another musher who shouted that he had the serum. 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+. Balto received an outsized portion of the fame from the journey, including more acclaim than Togo. 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. An in-depth look at the "Great Race of Mercy" that involved 20 mushers and 150 sled dogs. When Togo was very young, an ailment caused his throat to swell. Guuner Kaasen with Balto… Bursting with pride, Seppala would later say that his old Togo had never performed better. Balto is the titular main protagonist of the Balto trilogy. 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. 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. Outside does not accept money for editorial gear reviews. The temperature was estimated at 30 F (34 C) and the gale force winds causing a wind chill of 85 F (65 C). 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. Balto (1919 – March 14, 1933) was a Siberian Husky and sled dog belonging to musher and breeder Leonhard Seppala. 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