“It’s quite wonderful to have the opportunity to correct history a little bit.”. Most recently, Togo was featured in the AKC Museum of the Dog exhibition “Mush! Yet Togo was the sled dog that led the mission through the most dangerous part of the expedition. Togo was an agouti colored Siberian Husky and in their search for a dog to play him, the production had an extraordinary piece of luck. There have been movies made about him and stories that every musher has heard countless times, but this week is the history of another great sled dog; Leonhard Seppala’s Togo. 123,364, © 2021 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved Togo wasn't meant to be a sled dog. At the time, many of the Nome’s finest sled dogs were found in Seppala’s kennel. An antitoxin was located, but the nearest point which the serum could reach by rail was Nenana, located 674 miles from Nome. Your Ad Choices However, after being given away to a neighbor, Togo flung himself through a glass window and escaped back home. Balto was proclaimed a hero and his name made national news. This is unquestionably the greatest sled dog story ever told – and it has been told many times with one constant: the wrong dog gets the credit. “You go to the YouTube comments on the trailer, and people are all saying it’s a ‘Balto’ remake,” screenwriter Tom Flynn tells The Post. The situation in the small town of Nome, Alaska was dire in January 1925, as diphtheria had taken the lives of two young children and many more deaths were sure to come. His journey, fraught with white-out storms, was the longest by 200 miles and included a traverse across perilous Norton Sound — where he saved his team and driver in a courageous swim through ice floes.” It seemed to Seppala that he was stuck with the incorrigible pup. It was there that Togo lived out the rest of his days in dignity and serenity. He was too feisty and independent to make a good team member, let alone a leader. Directed by Ericson Core. Almost all modern huskies can trace thier lines back to 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 … At that late age, Togo led Seppala’s team through the longest and most treacherous part of the relay, including crossing the frozen Norton Sound to save time. He sure did. Children were especially at risk, and Nome’s isolation created a nightmare scenario. Notes: – Togo was 12 years old in 1925…that’s pretty advanced in age for a sled dog, let alone a lead dog (most of them are retired by that age)! Togo was THE greatest sled dog of his time.Togo was a sire to many great dogs, and is belived to be one of the best sires of the breed. The actual dog on screen, Togo is supposed to be sort of a mutt, if I’m correct, of a sled dog and other dogs. Togo was the best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail.”). His penchant for mischief led to a mauling when he ran up on a team of much larger Malamutes. When a deadly epidemic strikes […] See more ideas about dog sledding, iditarod, musher. While the lead dog of the 53-mile final leg, Balto, would become famous for his role in the run, many argue that it was Seppala and his Siberian Husky lead dog, Togo, who were the true saviors of the day. Though Balto continues to be immortalized, where it matters most – in the great state of Alaska – Seppala and Togo gain in stature with every year that passes. Under the employ of the Pioneer Mining Company, Seppala began making a name for himself as one of the strongest mushers in Nome. The film centers on Leonhard Seppala and his titular sled dog in the 1925 serum run to Nome to transport diphtheria antitoxin serum through harsh conditions during an epidemic of diphtheria. The story of Togo, the sled dog who led the 1925 serum run yet was considered by most to be too small and weak to lead such an intense race. Seppala always thought Togo lived for the sled, says Core. Togo led Seppala to easy wins. Disney+ has delivered a perfect story of canine bravery with Togo, the story of a lead sled dog who ran over 250 miles to bring medicine to the town of Nome during a diphtheria outbreak in 1925. Togo, named for the Japanese admiral Togo Heihachiro (1848-1934), was … In the winter of 1925, a deadly outbreak of diphtheria in the remote port of Nome, Alaska, threatened the lives of the 10,000-plus living in the area. On January 29th, Seppala and his 20 best Siberians set out from Nome with trusty Togo at the helm, to meet the westbound relay and retrieve the vital serum. Around that time, the first known Siberian Huskies in America were brought to Nome by Russian fur trader William Goosak. With temperatures hovering around -30 degrees, Seppala and his dogs made incredible time in their mad dash east, covering over 170 miles in just three days. “The movie has sparked tremendous interest in our Togo,” she says, calling the four-legged friend the park’s “spirit animal.”. When a diptheria epidemic breaks out in isolated Nome, Alaska, in January 1925, the only way to get life-saving serum to the town is by using dog-sled … Clearly, there was something to be said for these smaller, yet scrappy, Siberians as stellar sled dogs. During this time, Seppala himself won the All-Alaska Sweepstakes in 1915, 1916, and 1917. By the time the diphtheria outbreak struck in 1925, Togo was 12 years old and Seppala 47, both seemingly past their primes. “It blew me away that a 12-year-old dog made that much of a run and was an unsung hero,” director Ericson Core tells The Post. The action-packed flick takes audiences on a perilous journey that makes it clear which pooch really deserved most of the credit. A fitting tribute, the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award is given to the Iditarod musher each year judged to have taken the best care of their dogs. For years, Balto, who also came from Seppala’s kennel, was celebrated, even earning a statue in New York’s Central Park. Children were especially at risk, and Nome’s isolation created a nightmare scenario. 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. Still too young for a harness, he often got loose to run alongside teams training with Seppala, much to his owner’s anguish. Togo was the lead dog for Leonhard Seppala's team during the longest and most dangerous leg of the serum run to Nome in 1925. Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, from which Disney apparently rented dogs for Togo, admits on its website that it keeps dogs chained for up to 23 hours a day and says, “Although they are outside most of the time, we do allow many of them to come inside from time to time especially as they age!” In 1910’s All-Alaska Sweepstakes, an all-Siberian team driven by musher “Iron Man” Johnson took first place in what remains a course record. While Kaasen and Balto were given much of the glory, it was Seppala and Togo who insiders knew had truly saved the day. Togo the Sled Dog, who lost his fame to Balto. Officials determined that the only way to deliver the serum in time was via. Small, feisty Siberian husky Togo—the overlooked sled-dog hero of the 1925 serum run to Nome—sets the record straight in Dog Diaries #4! We've received your submission. With Willem Dafoe, Julianne Nicholson, Christopher Heyerdahl, Richard Dormer. Togo was on display at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, for a time. 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