Togo Leads First Iditarod

Meet Togo, the lead sled dog for 264 miles of the 1925 Iditarod delivery of diphtheria anti-toxin to Nome, Alaska. He’s the true Siberian Husky hero rather than well-known Balto, who led the final 55 miles into Nome.

Togo Wins His Heart

Togo (1913-1929) was born a sickly pup yet quickly proved himself to be a plucky, strong and reliable sled leader for his owner, Leonhard Seppala.

“I never had a better dog than Togo. His stamina, loyalty and intelligence could not be improved upon. Togo was the best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail,” said Seppala.

During the Iditarod, the team became stranded on an ice floe! After the line connected to Togo snapped, he “had the wherewithal to snatch the line from the water, roll it around his shoulders like a harness, and eventually pull his team to safety,”

Later, Seppala brought his dogs over to Poland Springs, Maine. Togo’s last race took place in Maine, where he won a competition vs. the larger, local Chinook sled dogs. He lived to the ripe old age of 16, a life well-lived.

Look at them together in this photo (above), shortly before Togo died in 1929. They certainly went through a lot of challenges together, and their experience is recreated through modern-day Iditarod races held nearly every year between Anchorage and Nome, Alaska.

More: Read about Togo in American Kennel Club and National Park Service articles. For more recent Iditarod race news, check out Iditarod.com.

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