CLEVELAND, Ohio - As The Plain Dealer's Laura DeMarco reported last week, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History is loaning the stuffed, mounted remains of Balto, the sled dog who saved Nome, Alaska, to a museum in that state for a few months.Balto: The Dog that Saved NomeMarvin Fong | The Plain Dealer
A lot of us have walked past this exhibit over the years on the way to see Alice the allosaurus, Lucy the human progenitor or some other higher-profile exhibit more along the lines of what you'd expect a museum of natural history to offer. Well, this is your last week to go seek Balto out. And as we recently learned, it's worth a closer look at the dog that helped save Nome, Alaska in 1925.
And no, it's nothing to do with the 1995 Universal Pictures animated cartoon. That thing's okay, with an all-star voice cast, but it's not much to do with the actual dog - who was, not, as the movie and its sequels depict him, some sort of dog-wolf hybrid.
Animation Source, primarily offering tidbits about those Balto animated cartoons, summarizes the role of Togo, the overshadowed hero dog of the 1925 serum run. Many misspellings but a fair summation of the facts - Balto wasn't the only dog who represented his species well in that frantic errand of mercy across frozen Alaska.
But the hype for him was deserved. Balto more than pulled his weight. Exquisitely preserved, he offers an almost disturbingly lifelike glimpse into a great story from 92 years ago that, without his help, might fade into forgotten history.
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