Monday, February 2, 2009

The Legend of Togo

Okay, so everyone knows it’s Groundhog Day, and everyone’s going to be talking about Groundhog Day, so I’m going to talk about something other than Groundhog Day.
84 years ago today, dog sleds pulled into Nome, Alaska, after an epic journey, delivering much needed serum to diphtheria epidemic sufferers.

Now, everyone knows about Balto, the dog who lead the team carrying the serum on the final leg of its journey. A less-heralded but equally heroic dog in the relay was Togo, who lead his team on the longest stretch of the journey, and made the 84 miles in one day. That’s eight miles an hour; not bad for a bunch of dogs dragging a sled and a guy through a storm which pushed temperatures down to sixty below.

Togo’s legacy is twofold—not only did he participate in the journey which inspired the Iditarod, but his blood runs through the veins of many sled dogs still participating in the annual race. Balto’s bloodline, unfortunately, ended with him, as his owner had him *ahem* snipped at an early age.

Beware the sound of crying children, watch out for the barmaids, and whatever you do, don't let the Pegasus spit on you.
Surviving Serendipity--

1 comment:

Iris said...

That is pretty cool. Me being a dog person, Balto used to be one of my favorite movies. (Yes, I know, Disney doesn't count. But come on-- it got me hooked on huskies and Alaska at an early age). I loved tracking the Iditarod in elementary/middle school and still like looking up the occasional weird fact about it. A vastly original topic Jackie! Congrats!