Age: 3 (in 1925)
Breed: Siberian Husky
Parents: N/A (unknown)
Siblings: N/A (unknown)
Personality: Brave and steady, affable and easy-going; very curious.
Voice: Billy Bob Thornton à la The Alamo (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000671)
Relation To Balto universe: Is the Balto himself (an alternate version based upon the real Balto of history)!
Story: As there is a fictional wolf-dog named “Balto”, so was there a real purebred Siberian Husky named “Balto”, and this character is based upon that historic dog of the real 1925 Nome serum run! He is a big, muscular purebred Siberian Husky with an almost all-black coat, with white socks (the one on his right foreleg is higher up that leg than those on all the others), a white "bib", a bit of white on his belly, and around the edges of his mouth. His eyes are brown.
Balto was born in 1922 in the kennel of Leonhard Seppala, one of the Alaska territory’s greatest mushers, who is also the owner of half-brothers Togo and Fritz. He has always desired the chance to participate in one of the races which Seppala included his best dogs in, but has fallen short of his owner’s exacting standards of what an ideal racing sled dog is. Seppala has limited Balto to work details and freighting, and has not yet permitted him to lead a team.
Balto has grown frustrated with Seppala’s prejudices against him, and does not understand why he is consistently overlooked for all but the most mundane and labor-intensive tasks. He is a large and strong husky, and dedicated to his job. He has even worked hard to demonstrate his ability. But Seppala continually overlooks him. Still, he has found friends in Seppala’s best dogs, including Togo and Fritz, and is well-liked by most of the active sled dogs in Nome (except some of the racing dogs, who look at any working dog as being socially beneath them). He has also found a friend in Gunnar Kaasen, a human co-worker of Seppala, who seems to have a deeper understanding of Balto and his abilities, and likes the dog a great deal.
In 1925, Balto finally got his chance to prove his worth, when he was assigned to serve Kaasen’s team in town while the other dogs of Seppala’s fast team were pulled to participate in the serum run. Seppala instructed Kaasen to use another of his dogs, the experienced lead dog Fox, to lead the second team. However, Kaasen chose Balto instead, which initially caused some friction between the two dogs, as Fox felt he was being demoted and shamed. After Seppala left with his fast team (with Togo in the lead), Kaasen’s team was also chosen to participate in the run.
It was tough going for Balto at first. Fox was admired by the members of the second team, and they found themselves in agreement with him when he became bitter about being demoted by Kaasen. This was only made worse when Kaasen kept Balto by his side when the rest of the dogs were quartered outside the roadhouse stops they made. Balto wondered if he’d ever get a fair deal. But when the time came to show his worth, Balto quickly won over his teammates, and all doubt was gone.
After the serum run, the team was taken down to the State of Washington to participate in a movie about their experiences. After that, they went on a tour of the U.S. with a vaudeville show. Balto and the other dogs were enjoying themselves immensely, but a sudden conflict between Kaasen and another human caused him to suddenly abandon the dogs with the vaudeville show and return to Alaska. Some of the dogs (including Balto) were sold to a man named Sam Houston, who put them on display in his “dime-a-look” museum in Los Angeles, a place showcasing unusual things. In here, the dogs suffered from neglect, depression and the excessive heat of southern California. They wondered if they would ever see Alaska again.
A few months later, a man from Cleveland, Ohio entered the museum, saw the dogs languishing, and worked to rescue them from their miserable condition. After a short delay, he succeeded. The dogs were taken out, fed, bathed and put on a train to Cleveland, where they were treated to a marvelous parade and ceremony, and then housed in fine quarters in the city zoo, where they spent the rest of their lives enjoying the love and attention of the citizens of the U.S. But they never saw Alaska again.
These wonderful images were created for this fan character by CatWhoHas14Tails, based upon actual photographs of the real Balto, whom this character is based upon. If anyone would like to see photos of the real Balto to compare to Cat’s images, I would be happy to show anyone who PMs me. She did an amazing job!
(More information can be found here: http://www.animationsource.org/board/fan-characters-based-off-of-real-serum-run-dogs-t32007.html)
**PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS CHARACTER WITHOUT PERMISSION! I'd also like to see any/all fan art of him.
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