But time has a way of sorting things out. A relay of 20 teams was assembled, including that of Leonhard Seppala, Alaska’s most venerated musher. When the expedition was cancelled, the team was given to Seppala. Children were especially at risk, and Nome’s isolation created a nightmare scenario. Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more. Most people have heard of Balto, the sled dog with his own statue in Central Park. To Seppala’s deep ire, another dog, Balto, received glory after the race. This story has been shared 161,831 times. A far greater portion of the trek — about 260 miles — was led by a dog named Togo. Among those not selected by Seppala was Balto, whom the musher felt was yet unprepared to lead a team. So when Nome was gripped by diphtheria and relays of sled dogs were the only connection to the railhead, Seppala chose Togo as his lead dog — even though Togo was then 12 years old. Over the years, more and more began to recognize Togo as the serum run’s true hero dog. Seppala traveled all the way to New England and took on a team of local Chinooks in a friendly sled dog race. But when Nome needed life in little packages of serum, it took the dogs to bring it through.”, Leonhard Seppala: The Siberian Dog and The Golden Age of Sleddog Racing 1908-1941 by Bob & Pam Thomas, The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against An Epidemic by Gay & Laney Salisbury, Togo’s Fireside Reflections by Elizabeth M. Ricker. 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. Yet Togo was the sled dog that led the mission through the most dangerous part of the expedition. According to the Siberian Husky Club of America, all of the breed’s registered dogs of today can trace their ancestry to the dogs from the Seppala-Ricker kennel or Harry Wheeler’s kennel. 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 best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail.”). The Norwegian-born Seppala first arrived in Alaska in 1900, when most sled dogs were burly Alaskan Malamutes or mixed breeds. DOG DAYS: Famed sled-dog racer Leonhard Seppala holds his lead dog, Togo. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. So when Nome was gripped by diphtheria and relays of sled dogs were the only connection to the railhead, Seppala chose Togo as his lead dog — even though Togo was then 12 years old. But Togo is determined, and when his trainer, Leonhard Seppala, gives him a chance, he soon becomes one of the fastest sled dogs in history! Amazingly, in just five and a half days, the “Great Race of Mercy” was completed and the lifesaving serum was delivered to Nome. "I never had a better dog than Togo. He was too feisty and independent to make a good team member, let alone a leader. Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Your California Privacy Rights Your Ad Choices History tells us that Balto was merely the backup (nay, the handoff) on the last leg of the journey who stole the spotlight. By the time the diphtheria outbreak struck in 1925, Togo was 12 years old and Seppala 47, both seemingly past their primes. Togo attempted to pull the floe supporting the sled, but the line snapped. 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. Set against the backdrop of 1925's life-saving anti-diphtheria serum run to the town of Nome, Alaska, Togo stars Willem Dafoe as real-life dog sled trainer Leonhard Seppala (as seen in … As Togo grew, he became captivated by the working sled dogs surrounding him. During the 1925 serum run to deliver diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska, Togo led his pack on a long, harrowing journey across buckling sea ice. 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 … Togo was the best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail.”). Seppala was a Norwegian breeder and racer of Siberian huskies from the Chukchi Inuit stock of Siberia. All rights reserved. Togo, named for the Japanese admiral Togo Heihachiro (1848-1934), was … In the years following the serum run, Seppala made trips to the Lower 48 states with his heroic sled dogs. The quick-thinking Seppala tied a lead to Togo, his only hope, and tossed the dog across five feet of water. By the time the diphtheria outbreak struck in 1925, Togo was 12 years old and Seppala 47, both seemingly past their primes. But “Togo” is really about just that: Leonhard’s wondrous lead dog Togo, a true underdog who saves the day, even when beset by harrowing circumstances that would fell a lesser pack. “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. On February 3rd, 1925, Kaasen and Balto rode into Nome to a hero’s welcome. Nearly a century later, his story endures, thanks in part to a Central Park monument erected that year, as well as a 1995 animated flick, “Balto,” with Kevin Bacon giving voice to the dog. Under the employ of the Pioneer Mining Company, Seppala began making a name for himself as one of the strongest mushers in Nome. ... there were a total of 20 dog sled … While whelping records from the era are scant, it’s generally accepted that Togo was born in 1913 to a dam named Dolly, who is regarded as a foundation bitch in the breed’s development. Core  — who was interested in making the film in part because of his own relationship with his pet wolf, Shalako — hopes viewers will walk away with an appreciation not just of Togo’s achievements, but of the profound bond between Seppala and his companion. As deaths from the disease mounted, the decision to act was made. The temperature was estimated at −30 °F (−34 °C), and the gale force winds causing a wind chill of −85 °F (−65 °C). The sled dog who did … “The movie has sparked tremendous interest in our Togo,” she says, calling the four-legged friend the park’s “spirit animal.”. At the time, many of the Nome’s finest sled dogs were found in Seppala’s kennel. 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. After his death, Seppala had him custom mounted. Seward Park Conservancy president Amy Robinson tells The Post they are raising funds for one. He had shown early signs of greatness, on his very first run as a callow pup he completed a grueling 75-mile run. An antitoxin was located, but the nearest point which the serum could reach by rail was Nenana, located 674 miles from Nome. An agouti husky with blue eyes, Togo was owned by L.Seppla, and excellent musher and Husky breeder in his day. Known from the Great Race for Mercy, carrying diptheria serum 365 miles across the Alaskan wilderness saving thousands of children. The sled dog who did the lion’s share of the work was Togo. The two teams nearly missed each other on the trail, but, thanks in part to the dogs, the connection was made. Over the years, Togo became known across Alaska for his tenacity, strength, endurance, and intelligence as Seppala’s prized lead dog. However, with the fate of Nome in the balance, locals knew the aging yet experienced duo was their last, best hope. In 2019, his story was retold in the riveting Disney+ movie  Togo, starring Togo’s own descendant Diesel as the namesake Siberian. After the epic event, Togo participated in dog sled races against Chinooks, a breed of sled dogs. Togo retired and passed in Poland Spring, Maine. 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! According to a lengthy story by the New York Times, the bloodline of Togo, the lead dog in Leonhard Seppala's famous 1925 Nome serum run team, is still alive and part of mushing. 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.” A relay of 20 sled dog teams then traveled a distance of 674 miles from Nenana to Nome. Disney’s ‘Togo’ is the story of Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog Togo, who completed the longest section of the Great Race of Mercy, the famed sled dog relay that brought diphtheria antitoxin across the U.S. territory of Alaska in five and a half days to save the town of Nome from an impending epidemic. Togo soon proves himself when he outruns every other sled dog. 2019 3:37 PM. 258,621, This story has been shared 161,831 times. Disney Plus’ Togo is a wonderful two hours of Willem Dafoe saying, ‘Good dog!’ I love Willem Dafoe, and I love dogs, hence I love Togo By Karen Han @karenyhan Dec 4, 2019, 12:40pm EST The events of the film unfold around the drover Leonhard Seppala and his dog Togo, who went together the longest leg in the relay. Togo was dark brown with cream, black and grey markings. This story has been shared 123,364 times. Last week on the Dog Sledding Examiner we profiled probably the most popular sled dog in history, Balto. Terms of Use In Flynn’s research, he found that Seppala was deeply upset that Togo hadn’t received proper credit. The film stars Willem Dafoe as Togo’s driver Leonhard Seppala — and a Seppala Siberian named Diesel who the filmmakers say is an actual descendant of the real Seppala’s dogs. According to a lengthy story by the New York Times, the bloodline of Togo, the lead dog in Leonhard Seppala's famous 1925 Nome serum run team, is still alive and part of mushing. The action-packed flick takes audiences on a perilous journey that makes it clear which pooch really deserved most of the credit. He sure did. 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 Siberian Husky lead dog Togo, who was the true savior of the day. As a puppy, Togo suffered from health problems, and Seppala saw no use for the undersized, seemingly unfit dog. Protester killed in Capitol was Air Force vet from California, This is the moment a woman was fatally shot amid US Capitol chaos, Video shows moment woman was fatally shot in Capitol, Danish cartoon about man with superlong penis enrages parents, Footage captures flight attendant's final moments before grim death. Directed by Ericson Core. The historical film by the American director Ericson Core, which is dedicated to the events of the Great Mercy Race of 1925. After cutting across the treacherously frozen Norton Sound to save time and distance, Seppala miraculously ran right into the team of Henry Ivanoff, one of the relay’s late additions, which was carrying the serum westward. On the return trip across the Sound, the team became stranded on an ice floe. Togo the Sled Dog. During a brutal 1925 storm, a sled dog named Balto finished out a historic 650-mile run across Alaska, bringing desperately needed medicine to the icebound town of Nome. DOG DAYS: Famed sled-dog racer Leonhard Seppala holds his lead dog, Togo. While Kaasen and Balto were given much of the glory, it was Seppala and Togo who insiders knew had truly saved the day. Well, we didn’t find a trained dog. 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!” Details of Death:"It was sad parting on a cold gray March morning when Togo raised a small paw to my knee as if questioning why he was not going along with me. 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. 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. 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. Did you think Balto was the real canine hero of the Great Race of Mercy? Exasperated, Seppala decided to do what he did best with his dogs. See more ideas about dog sledding, iditarod, musher. “It’s quite wonderful to have the opportunity to correct history a little bit.”. Balto was proclaimed a hero and his name made national news. Jan 4, 2020 - Explore Kayla Marie's board "Balto & Togo", followed by 190 people on Pinterest. Over the years, Togo became known across Alaska for his tenacity, strength, endurance, and intelligence as Seppala’s prized lead dog. The diphtheria serum was first transported by train from Anchorage northward to Nenana, Alaska. 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. With Togo in the lead in what would be his final race, the much-smaller Siberians triumphed. His penchant for mischief led to a mauling when he ran up on a team of much larger Malamutes. 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. Children were especially at risk, and Nome’s isolation created a nightmare scenario. All the while, the outbreak worsened back in Nome. Time to meet Togo, the uncommonly brave (and quite cute) sled dog that really saved the day. By the time the antitoxins had made their way to the Nome, nearly 20 sled dog teams, compromised of more than 100 dogs, had done their part in delivering the medicine the 674 mile distance between Nenana, Alaska and … Later, Alaskan students began a letter writing campaign to have Togo returned to Alaska. From Disney+, “Togo” is the untold true story set in the winter of 1925 that takes you across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra for an exhilarating and uplifting adventure that will test the strength, courage and determination of one man, Leonhard Seppala, and his lead sled dog, Togo. Unwittingly, Seppala had found himself the perfect lead dog for which he had always yearned. With Willem Dafoe, Julianne Nicholson, Christopher Heyerdahl, Richard Dormer. During a brutal 1925 storm, a sled dog named Balto finished out a historic 650-mile run across Alaska, bringing desperately needed medicine to the icebound town of Nome. “But in the end, it turned out [Togo] lived for him.”, 'Just Mercy' is profoundly moving and unbearably sad, This story has been shared 258,621 times. The serum had arrived, and the town had been saved. 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. We explain why the Togo true story has a sadder ending than the Disney+ movie. How The Stars Of Togo Feel About Balto Usurping The Legacy Of The True Hero Dog Eric Eisenberg; Published: Dec. 25. Today, Togo is on display at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters Museum in Wasilla, Alaska. Around that time, the first known Siberian Huskies in America were brought to Nome by Russian fur trader William Goosak. Officials determined that the only way to deliver the serum in time was via sled dog teams. 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 Siberian Husky lead dog Togo, who was the true savior of the day. Togo is a 2019 American drama adventure film directed by Ericson Core and produced by Walt Disney Pictures.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. It seemed to Seppala that he was stuck with the incorrigible pup. Sitemap Willem Dafoe stars in the Togo trailer as a musher who with his beloved sled dog Togo braves an impossible 300+ mile run across Alaska in the Disney+ movie. Back on land after covering a near-impossible number of miles, Seppala and his team eventually made the serum handoff in Golovin, just 78 miles from Nome. Togo led Seppala’s team in races and excursions long and short, and dog and man became inseparable. Eventually, in 1983, his mounted body was given a place of honor at the Iditarod Race Headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska. “I like that we’re setting the record straight.”. In 1932, Seppala returned to Alaska, whereupon the kennel closed and the dogs were delegated to friend Harry Wheeler. © The American Kennel Club, Inc. 2020. Officials decided to add more teams to the relay, unbeknownst to Seppala. 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. However, after being given away to a neighbor, Togo flung himself through a glass window and escaped back home. 123,364, © 2021 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved While the lead dog of the 53-mile final leg, For years, Balto, who also came from Seppala’s kennel, was celebrated, even earning, The Norwegian-born Seppala first arrived in Alaska in 1900, when most sled dogs were burly, iy_2021; im_01; id_07; ih_12; imh_20; i_epoch:1610050857257, py_2020; pm_12; pd_13; ph_23; pmh_05; p_epoch:1607929524703, link-block-publisher; link-block-publisher_link-block-publisher; bodystr, pn_tstr:Sun Dec 13 23:05:24 PST 2020; pn_epoch:1607929524703. Did he really break a window to get back to Seppala? It was there that Togo lived out the rest of his days in dignity and serenity. It wasn’t until 2001 that Togo was given his own marble monument in the Lower East Side’s Seward Park, which is named for William H. Seward — the Secretary of State (and former New York governor and senator) who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. An antitoxin was located, but the nearest point which the serum could reach by rail was Nenana, located 674 miles from Nome. We found the right dog, and that was Diesel, who played the adult Togo throughout the film. A multi-team dog sled relay was arranged to deliver 300,000 units of serum, already en route to Nenana by rail, the remaining 674 miles to Nome. 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. Rail was Nenana, Alaska ’ s kennel the Great race for Mercy, carrying diptheria 365. The glory, it 's a lot his fame to Balto struck town... Rest of his DAYS in dignity and serenity sledding, Iditarod, musher hooked him into the team newspaper ’... Explain why the Togo true story has been shared 123,364 times deserved of... The age of 16 from Tuesday February 3, 1925, Kaasen and Balto given... 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