Togo: Hero of Nome

Share this post

Togo: Hero of Nome

In 1925, things seemed bleak for the Alaskan town of Nome. The town’s people, especially the children, were sick with the deadly illness diphtheria. The town’s supply of antitoxin was depleted, and the port was closed for the winter, making a new delivery difficult. The 1925 Nome diphtheria epidemic gave rise to a bold plan: a sled dog relay. Sled dog teams and their mushers raced tirelessly across the freezing Alaskan wilderness to deliver the precious serum on time. The most famous dog from this relay is probably Gunnar Kaasen’s lead dog, Balto: the dog that ran the last 55 miles of the relay. However, there is another lead dog that took part in this relay that is often overlooked: Togo.

Tough Togo

Togo was Siberian Husky of Chukchi Inuit stock. Although small for his breed at only 22 kilos, Togo was brave and bold. His owner, Leonhard Seppala, thought the scrawny, sickly, young pup would be too weak for the life of a sled dog, but Togo proved him wrong. After recovering from illness and injuries (as a young dog, Togo tended to pick fights), Togo began to follow Seppala and his sled team, distracting the other dogs and causing havoc for the musher.

In an attempt to control the dog, Seppala harnessed him, and was surprised when Togo calmed down at once. Intrigued by this change in demeanour, Seppala let Togo join the team that day. Togo amazed him; the dog kept pace with the rest of the team, eventually running alongside the lead dog. He had travelled 120km in one day: an extraordinary feat for such a young and inexperienced dog. Seppala then knew he had an extraordinary dog: a born leader; in his hands.

The run to Nome

The solution to Nome’s predicament: no antitoxin, a raging diphtheria epidemic, and deliveries prelcuded by the fierce winter weather; was a bold one. A sled dog relay was proposed. The teams would travel from Nenana to Nome, each team pulling the medicine for a part of the journey. Seppala’s team was to take the antitoxin from just outside to Shaktoolik. The team would then go on to Ungalik and to Isaac’s Point, eventually finishing at Golovin. To get there, Seppala had to drive his team from Nome: a 274km journey that the team covered in three days.

Seppala had initially intended to intercept the previous team at Nulato, but the previous teams had travelled faster than expected. Seppala left Isaac’s Point and intercepted the previous musher, Henry Ivanoff, and his team outside Shaktoolik. Ivanoff passed the serum on, and Seppala set off.

The conditions were grim. Seppala and his team, led by Togo, travelled in darkness, whipped by wind and the freezing air (-34C). The team had to cross Norton Sound: an exposed strip of ice that seemed to stretch on forever. At one point the team was forced to swim through the ice floes; a move that could have killed all the dogs and their musher, and only succeeded due to the sheer nerve and endurance of the entire team. Seppala, blinded by the dark and the storm, relied on Togo’s keen sense of smell, letting the dog find the path to Isaac’s Point. If Togo hadn’t found the path, the team would have died in that storm.

After a six hour rest, Seppala and his team were off again. Whipped by the wind and chilled by the air, the team dashed across the fragile ice of the shoreline, and ascended to cross Little McKinley Mountain. Early on a Sunday morning, the team finally arrived at Golovin, and passed on the serum to the next musher, Charlie Olsen. They had travelled an astonishing, gruelling 146km.

Canine controversy

The serum run was successful.  Kaasen and his team, led by Balto, brought the medicine the final stretch of the journey. At the time, and even today, many felt that Togo and Seppala were not given the respect that they had earned. Although Balto’s team had pulled the medicine for the final stretch of the journey, Togo’s team had struggled through the most arduous part of the journey, yet the statue dedicated to all the sled dogs was clearly modelled after Balto (though shown wearing Togo’s awards).

Seppala was saddened by how much of the credit for the diphtheria run went to Balto. In his old age, he reminisced that he had never had a better dog than Togo, “his stamina, loyalty and intelligence could not be improved upon. Togo was the best dog that ever travelled the Alaska trail.” Katy Steinmetz, writing for Time magazine, stated that Togo “did the lion’s share of the work”, saluting the dog for his courage and endurance.

And what of Togo? To a dog, the controversy probably mattered little. Togo was just doing his job to the best of his ability. Despite the gruelling relay, Togo was fit and well enough to escape his kennel to chase reindeer. Seppala and his dog team toured America, from Washington to California. They visited New York and Madison Square Garden; at the latter, Togo was presented with a gold medal by famed explorer Roald Amundsen.

Togo’s Final Years

Seppala eventually retired Togo, and sent his beloved dog to live in Maine at the home of Elizabeth Ricker, a dog musher and breeder. The parting was hard, but Togo had more than earned his retirement. Togo sired a few pups and lived comfortably for a while until 1929, when Seppala had the old dog put to sleep to ease his passing.

Togo’s taxidermied body is on display Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters museum in Wasilla, Alaska, and his skeleton is kept by The Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University.


I agree to be informed about Promotions and to get Puppy Parenting Hints from NewDoggy.com.
Or Send Us Your Information And Have Us Call You Back
Need Help?
Call Ani On
Viber/WhatsApp/WeChat
I agree to be informed about Promotions and to get Puppy Parenting Hints from NewDoggy.com.
Or Send Us Your Information And Have Us Call You Back
How Can We Help You?
Call Ani On
Viber & WhatsApp
I agree to be informed about Promotions and to get Puppy Parenting Hints from NewDoggy.com.
I would like to be informed when a new litter arrives.
CONTACT ME
I agree with the above criterias

As our website is continuously visited by future dog owners it may easily happen that someone else books this dog. As soon as your reservation is confirmed, the dog is booked for you and no one else can do it as we won’t accept further reservations. The deposit ($ 800) will be deducted from the Final Price. As the deposit is non-refundable, you should make sure that your are ready, sure, confident and has enough information to buy a dog before paying a deposit. However, the deposit will be returned if you cancel the reserved dog within 48 hours after the reservation. In this case we will refund the deposit within 10 days but related payments fees will be deducted. After 48 hours sale has ended and shall remain subject only to the General Terms and Conditions.

Reservation
Export Pedigree

In case you plan to breed your dog or participate in dog shows, it is necessary to transfer your dog’s original FCI registered pedigree to a kennel club in your country. We provide you with the option to export your dog’s pedigree which you can present to your kennel club to obtain a local registration.

Basic Socialization Training - The Puppy Preschool

In this Puppy Training programme, your puppy will receive one hour of training per day with our Expert Trainer. It is the ideal program for those who wish to welcome home a puppy that knows the very basics, but wishes to teach the hardier stuff themselves. Our Team will send you weekly updates on your puppy’s progress in the form of videos. At the end of the training, your puppy will receive a certificate as proof of completing the programme.

Advanced Socialization Training - The Puppy Academy

This Training programme is extensive in nature. If you enrol your puppy in the Academy, your NewDoggy will live with the trainer for the duration of the program, being in training round-the-clock. By the end of this training, your puppy will be much better prepared to adapt to their new environment and you will have an easier time getting used to the newest member of your family. Our Team will send you updates on your puppy’s progress in the form of videos every 3 to 4 days. At the end of the training, your puppy will don a graduation cap and receive a certificate as proof of completing the programme.

Designer Fashion Grooming

Any long-coated puppy can be groomed to your preferred style. Just send us some sample photos, and our professional groomer will groom your puppy to that style just before he/she is sent to you. All our pups get baths, nail clipping, and ear cleaning. The Designer Fashion Grooming Service also includes basic grooming on departure preparation (but not limited to): bathing, hygiene trimming, nail clipping & ear cleaning.

CONTACT US
1147 Budapest, Telepes u. 89. Hungary
Mon - Fri / 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CET (Paris Time)
I agree to be informed about Promotions and to get Puppy Parenting Hints from NewDoggy.com.
OR
FREE HANDBOOK
Responsible Dog Ownership Handbook
CONTACT ME
CONTACT ME
CONTACT ME
CONTACT ME
CONTACT ME
CONTACT ME
I agree to be informed about Promotions and to get Puppy Parenting Hints from NewDoggy.com
I agree to be informed about Promotions and to get Puppy Parenting Hints from NewDoggy.com.
Alert me when similar puppy available
I agree to be informed about Promotions and to get Puppy Parenting Hints from NewDoggy.com
CONTACT ME
CONTACT ME
CONTACT ME
CONTACT ME

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Dubai:


  1. All dogs entering Dubai from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Dubai must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Dubai must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Dubai specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Dubai must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Dubai must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Dubai.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Abu Dhabi:


  1. All dogs entering Abu Dhabi from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Abu Dhabi must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Abu Dhabi specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Abu Dhabi must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Abu Dhabi.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Hong Kong:


  1. All dogs entering Hong Kong must be at least 3 months old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Hong Kong must be equipped with either a 9 or 15-digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Hong Kong must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Valid for up to 6 months.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Hong Kong specific vaccinations: Canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus and rabies.
  5. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Hong Kong.
  6. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  7. Captain’s Affidavit – Document to be provided by the airline personnel confirming that your dog has not left its crate or interacted with other pets at any point during the journey.


* Hong Kong classifies countries into 3 groups. Vaccinations against rabies are only required from Groups 2 & 3.
  • Group 1: Rabies-free countries (at least 6 months of residency) Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Bailiwick of Jersey.
  • Group 2: Rabies-controlled (at least 4 months of residency) Austria, Bahrain, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Guam, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Belgium, Brunei, Cayman Island, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Iceland, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, USA (Continental), Virgin Islands.
  • Group 3: All other countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Switzerland:


  1. All pets entering Switzerland must be equipped with a 15-digit microchip that is compliant with ISO 11784/11785.
  2. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper.
  3. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory. Dogs must receive their first rabies vaccine at least 21 days before entering the country.*
  4. The state veterinarian of the origin country must equip the dog with a valid Health Certificate.
  5. Import Permit – all dogs entering from a 3rd level rabies country must carry an import permit issued at least three weeks in advance. Entry points through Basel, Geneva, Zurich.
  6. Different regulations depending on whether it is a commercial purchase or individual and where the dog is coming from.


* Specifications differ for booster shots. ** Switzerland categorises countries by level of risk of rabies in three levels.
  • Level 1: All EU Member States and Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State.
  • Level 2 (Low Risk of Rabies): Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda,Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Great Britain (including Crown dependencies), Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, North Macedonia, Montserrat, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Sint Marteen, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Level 3: All other countries are considered as having a high risk of rabies.
Travel Requirements