STORIES
Animals Heroes

Balto

by Natalie from Colorado

<a href=http://www.geocities.com/k_yingguo/Balto9.jpg>Balto</a>
Balto

My hero is Balto. He is my hero because not only did he save the town of Nome, Alaska. He was much more. During his life he was not treated like a hero should be. Or like any animal should for that matter.

On January 21, 1925 a diphtheria epidemic broke out in the town of Nome, Alaska. At the time Nome's only doctor was faced with the challenge of finding the serum before it was too late. Nearly 1,000 miles away extra serum was found. Then came the matter of getting it to Nome. The two airplanes that would have been the transportation were shut down for the winter. The only other way to get it there in time would be the old fashion way of dog sled.

<a href=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/31/Balto.jpg/449px-Balto.jpg>Balto's statue</a>
Balto's statue

This race to Nome was called the "Great Race of Mercy." It was impossible for one man to take it on alone. So, instead 20 men were able to take it on together. Gunnar Kaasen was one of these men. He was Balto's driver. Now Gunnar didn't think of Balto as a very good leader but Balto proved him wrong. After Balto and his team arrived at where they were supposed to give the serum to the next driver, Kaasen found him asleep. So, they just kept going.

If Balto was mentioned in T.A. Barron's Hero's Trail I think he would most likely be a survivor hero or a hero on the spot. He would be these types of heroes because he was able to survive a HUGE blizzard and save his team and driver from instant death in the Topkok River. I would have mentioned more people than T.A. Barron, but he did a good job of picking a few people so his readers wouldn't get bored and skip all the hero stories. (Which are VERY interesting)

Even though Balto helped save the town of Nome, he still had to be bought and sold, and eventually mistreated and put in the Cleveland Zoo. I think people should have respected his rights even though he was only a dog. (Dogs should rights, too).

Page created on 6/18/2007 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/18/2007 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Balto - This site give a ton of intersting info
1925 serum run

Bibliography

Wikipedia. "Diphtheria." [Online] Available http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diphtheria.

Barron, T.A.. The Hero's Trail. USA: Puffin Books, 2002. 134