Seppala inked Togo's paw and helped Togo sign some of the books. He was highly intelligent but was rowdy and very gutsy and showed every sign of becoming an undisciplined and uncontrollable adult dog. Why is he at the Museum? Seppala's part of the relay was over. Having been a racer who rarely lost a race, he thought to himself what it may be like to go up against a team huskies. With these dogs, she opened her own kennel on the resort and bred and sold the dogs. There are no known videos of Togo, but here are a couple of videos of Iditarod participants crossing the Norton Sound. [4], When Togo was 8 months old, he proved his worth as a sled dog. Togo was the best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail. Dorothy told me all about how she LOVED dogs and had insisted on donating her lunch money to the fundraiser. The city, located approximately 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle, had a population of just under 1,000. It was from Universal, not Disney. Togo retired in Poland Spring, Maine, where he was euthanized at the age of 16. His stamina, loyalty and intelligence could not be improved upon. Kaasen had to dig with bare hands in the snow, but he managed to find the package. It was the only way. The mounted skin was put on display at the Shelbourne Museum in Vermont. He only grew to about 48 pounds (22 kg) in adulthood and had a black, brown, and gray coat that made him appear perpetually dirty. 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. Several years earlier, a flu epidemic had killed off half of Nome’s indigenous population. Seppala had no choice but to put him in a harness to control him, and was surprised that Togo instantly settled down. 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. The calamity came in the form of Diphtheria, a highly contagious disease. About thirteen hours later, they reached Golovin and passed the serum over to Charlie Olson. This would eventually prove a valuable early experience, as it was difficult to teach a lead dog to keep a wide berth of oncoming teams. He was tapped to anchor the serum relay team. [citation needed], Togo retired in Poland Spring, Maine, where he was euthanized on December 5, 1929 at 16 years old. Because Balto’s body type didn’t match that of the racing huskies Seppala was breeding, no specific records were saved about him or his litter. [citation needed], In October 1926, Seppala, Togo, and a team of dogs went on a tour from Seattle, Washington to California; Seppala and Togo drew large crowds at stadiums and department stores, and even appeared in a Lucky Strike cigarette campaign. Correction: After Togo began to grow, he became hard to handle and was mischievous. Seppala did visit Togo a couple of times and was by his side when he was euthanized. 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 broke through a window and ran back to Seppala’s sledding kennels, a scene that occurs early in the movie. Seppala called him an "infant prodigy", and later added that "I had found a natural-born leader, something I had tried for years to breed"[5], Togo began training, and after a few years filled the lead dog position. The team appeared multiple times at Madison Square Garden, which was being managed by Tom Rickard, formerly of Nome, and where Togo was awarded a gold medal by Roald Amundsen. After the run, Seppala sold Togo to a friend in Poland Spring Maine were Togo was euthanized on December 5th 1929. Required fields are marked *. The serum would be transported to Nenana from where it would be collected by a dogsled team that would then meet the other team at Nulato who would collect it and take it to Nome. Togo was born in Little Creek, AK sometime in October of 1913. These animals are unpleasant to be around. Seppala sold most of his team to a local kennel. [10] Principal production on the film ran from September 24, 2018 to February 2019 in Calgary. Whenever Seppala would try to harness up a team, Togo would run around and nip at the ears of Seppala's dogs. It was always an issue for Seppala that Togo was 12 years old during the Serum Run, but the much younger Balto received all the media attention. He refused to be confined and would somehow always escape. All of which was done at top speed in some of the most dangerous conditions. Back in the kennel, Seppala had Togo secured and made note to not let him loose for a day or so, as he didn't want to take any chances of Togo following them. Despite rough beginnings, Togo saved the lives of thousands of people. [citation needed] Togo has a statue dedicated to him in New York City's Seward Park. When he recovered, Togo stopped attacking other teams' lead dogs. Out on the trail between Isaac's Point and Golovin, Seppala decided to stay within a few hundred feet away from the shore, which made the ride a bit rough. Being the smart dog that he was, Togo plunged into the frigid water and retrieved the line. Togo and his team traveled almost 260 miles battling numerous dangers – his journey involved more dangers than that of Balto’s journey). They lived with Balto at the Brookside Zoo. The Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University has his skeleton in their collection. In 1960, Seppala said that "I never had a better dog than Togo. [9] Willem Dafoe stars in the film as Leonhard Seppala, the owner of Togo. Located 2 degrees south of the Arctic Circle, Nome was home to 455 Alaskan Natives and 975 European settlers. Leonhard, seeing Togo’s stamina and speed kept moving him up in the line and towards the end of the day, Togo, even as an 8-month-old puppy, had run 75 miles sharing the lead position with another dog named Russky. Not connected : To be able to post a message site, you must be connected. Squealing like a pig, and with all of other dogs barking, the kennel's boss came out to investigate and found Togo hanging on the outside of the fence and cut him free. Why was the bison calf euthanized? Togo was a dog who had a strong sense of direction, and had a mind of his own. Togo, which stars Willem Dafoe, promises to chart the life of the historically overlooked pup who made the crucial delivery of medicine possible. Following his death, Seppala had Togo custom mounted. The mounted skin was on display at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne Vermont. This very thing happened to Seppala and Togo before. On December 5th, 1929, Seppala found the courage to have Togo euthanized at the ripe old age of 16. Togo was a male Siberian Husky. By continuing, you're giving consent to cookies being used. Now coming back to the calamity. This bacteria lodges in a person’s windpipe and creates a thick membrane that suffocates the victim. Leonhard and Togo (as the sled team leader) traveled 260 miles (420 km) from Nome in three days and picked up the serum in Shaktoolik. He nearly made it, but caught one of his hind legs in the wire mesh and was dangling. This time Leonhard did not give him away but Togo continued to be a trouble maker and would challenge, irritate, and attack other dogs. The Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University houses the skeletal remains in their collection. Without antitoxin, they believed that the  mortality rate could be close to 100 percent. He looked back over his shoulder and saw that the musher was waving his arms for him to stop. Most Traveled Dog In Alaska, Champion Trophy Winner In Nome, Record of Longest and Fastest run in Serum Drive, This page was last edited on 30 October 2020, at 17:30. Enter our story’s hero: Togo, who was already a champion racer by 1925 but whose running days were largely behind him.

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