Did Togo deserve the fame? Did Balto take it from him?
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. Almost all modern huskies can trace thier lines back to Togo. An agouti husky with blue eyes, Togo was owned by L.Seppla, and excellent musher and Husky breeder in his day. Togo was all but well behaved in his puppyhood. This little puppy even got in a fight with malamutes and escaped with a hurt ear.He was given away as a house pet , but Togo didn't last. He destroyed the house and was given back to Seppla. Togo was unexpected greatness,(a natural-born leader) despite his champion father and well bred mother. Togo constantly was escaping and trying to catch up with the dog teams Seppla took out.
He finnaly proved his greatness to Seppla and turned out to be the (by far) best lead dog Seppla ever bred/knew. Togo won the Alaskan Sweepstakes 3 times in a row and won just about every other race he ran in. He was a champion! Then came the cry for help in Nome. The Great Serum Run had begun! With Togo in the lead, Seppla raced his team of 'Seppla Siberian sled dogs' to the place where the serum was waiting. Then, the team quickly moved out. They dropped it off to the next musher in the relay. After a rest, they headed back for Nome. In the middle of the way, Togo and Seppla met with the current carrier of the medicine. They two mushers decided to have Seppla caarry on with the medicine, as his champion dogs were no match for the other's dogs.
Seppla proudly raced the serum to the next checkpoint, where that next musher brought it to Balto's musher, Gunnar Kassen. Kassen was Seppla's assistant, and had seen something special in Balto( who was assined to pull wieght, not race) and chose him for the lead dog. As soon as Balto's team got the serum, they were off! But the next checkpoint was dark, and the musher was asleep. So, Balto's team carried on, and into Nome, where it was 5:30 in the morning. Reporters and citizens were confused in the sudden rush of stardom of Balto, and mistook Togo's race record and fame for Balto's. Balto recived ALL the credit, while Togo actually did the most work. 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. Balto had a 20-muinite silent film made about him, called Balto's Race to Nome.
Togo's Body has been poorly preserved, as the second museum to aquire the mount let EVERY visitor pet the body! That eventually made the fur thin and fall out, and the dog's body looked like a starved and unhealthy husky.Then, finally, the mount's current owner saved Togo from unimmaginable damage and decay. His body is now preseved and displayed at the Itidorad Trail museum. Balto's Body is nothing less than perfeclty preserved ( except for his coat color, which has faded to a brown due to intense exposure of light) . You can see Balto's mount at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. An 8-muinite, continusly rolling, film shows news clips (silent) from Balto's big events.
Don't get me wrong, Balto was still a doggie hero from what I've learned! But the most suprising fact I have found out (from several reliable scources) is that Balto was NOT part wolf! The movie threw children's and adult's book authors off and helped create the "part wolf-part husky" rumor. I am NOT saying I dislike the movie, because it's one of my favorites!
Now thinking about it, I agree with other members that, in spite of all thier differences, ALL the dogs of the Great Serum Run were heroes in some way, and that they were just doing what they were told. I just think that Togo should have gotten recognized more, and that people should give him credit for what he acomplished! I still love Balto: don't be offended! I just want to put all I know and have learned about Togo here so that people can , in turn, learn about this wonderful husky!
Do you agree? Please comment!