The dog saved a town


US - Balto is a slow sled dog, but in the midst of a blizzard, it never made a mistake when leading the sergeant to the disease area.

Coming to New York, you will find a bronze statue in Manhattan Central Park. This work was erected in honor of Balto - a dog that plays an important part in rescuing Nome, Alaska people from the disease.

In January 1923, Nome doctors began to detect diphtheria symptoms in some townspeople. They were very worried because before that, since 1921, nasopharyngeal disease had caused the deaths of more than 15,000 Americans.

The plague can be particularly dangerous in remote isolated towns, as treatment is usually only available in urban centers. For Nome residents at that time, doses of anti-diphtheria serum were only available in Anchorage, more than 830 km away. Alaska's harsh winter makes traffic almost paralyzed, and death is coming very close to the small town.

However, a team of sled dogs can save them. Producers of serums packed their food and food on rickshaws and embarked on a harsh journey called the Great Journey of Compassion, or the race to bring serum to Nome in 1925.


The dog trailed in a race to get serum to Nome in 1925. Photo: Forgotten History.

The only way to bring serum from Anchorage to Nome across the Alaskan wilderness, the journey of more than 1,000 km can take more than a month - too long for the mid-outbreak residents. In the long run, if both run and rest, the relief team will only take more time and no one can afford to go all such long distances. Therefore, the sera were transferred by different groups, following the short ones.

"Wild Bill" Shannon, a sled dog driver, set out on January 27, 1925. Taking the serum transported from Nenana to Anchorage by train, from here Shannon and his dog sled continued to run below -50 degrees Celsius to make it to Nome. Having lost four dogs on the road and a black nose from a cold burn, Shannon had taken the transition serum several times to a convoy of trailers led by Leonhard Seppala.

Originally a resident of Nome, Seppala joined a band of husky dogs from Siberia to pull the sled through the most arduous journey of the journey. 12-year-old Togo dog leads the pack.

Seppala's herds crossed more than 270 km in the cold wind to -65 degrees Celsius, passed through frozen lakes, and climbed Little McKinley for more than 1,500 meters, Seppala's team brought the serum to Charlie Olson's team, and to Gunnar Kaasen - who completed the last 90 km of the trip.


Gunnar Kaasen and the Balto dog. Photo: Wikipedia.

Accompanying Kaasen is the Balto dog. Nobody thought this black and white Siberian Husky would be registered in history. Balto is a slow dog, and it is often overlooked when the charioteer has to pick the lead. That changed in the winter of 1925 when Kaasen chose Balto to lead the serley dogs to Nome. Kaasen successfully delivered a life-saving serum to Nome's Dr. Welch on February 2, just six days after the trip began.

In the distance of more than 1,000 km by 20 chariots and about 150 dogs, Kaasen and Balto only pass the last 90 km. But when the convoy was caught in a snowstorm so devastating that Kaasen could hardly judge the direction, Balto led the way and never once made a mistake. That's why Nome residents are very happy to see this dog leading the group to the town in the most intense atmosphere.


Bronze statues of dogs Balto in Central Park. Photo: Central Park.

Balto became a famous name, and New York honored it with a bronze statue a year after it returned to the city. In 1995, Universal Pictures released a children's cartoon depicting the journey of the Balto dog. Balto died in 1933 at the age of 14, and his body was kept for visitors in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio.

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