STORIES
Animals Heroes

Balto the Sled Dog

by Connie from Dublin, Ohio

This is Balto's furry face :^)
This is Balto's furry face :^)

What a hero means to me is a person or an animal that has saved lives and show several traits that make him/her a hero to someone. A hero must have perseverance, show bravery, and strong of both body and mind. A hero, in my opinion, also should be trustworthy and smart. My hero, Balto a sled dog, has all of these heroic traits.

In the Arctic town of Nome January 1925, thousands of young and old people were going to die of a deadly disease called diphtheria. The only cure was in Anchorage, thousands of miles away. The only plane was dismantled for the winter so mushers (dog sleds) were called on to transport the serum, the only medicine that could cure the disease. Then Balto shows how smart he is when the serum was passed on to Musher Kaassen (Balto’s musher) and there was a dreadful blizzard coming that showed no sign of stopping. The blizzard was so bad that Musher Kaassen couldn’t even see his hand in front of his face. He had to trust Balto's excellent sense of direction and ability to sense danger. Therefore he was very trustworthy. They travel on in the blizzard.

The sled team!!!GO GO GO!!!
The sled team!!!GO GO GO!!!

The blizzard doesn’t stop but Balto show a great amount of perseverance when he had to push on through the blizzard on to Nome. The other musher at the next stop was asleep and valuable time would be wasted trying to wake him. He told Balto to keep going. The blizzard was worse and the dogs accidentally went into water and wet paws meant crippled dogs. In desperation, Musher Kaassen drove the dogs to soft snow to dry their paws and was instantly lost in the whiteness. Balto had to have a lot of perseverance to keep looking for the right trail. The dog team traveled on.

Balto was strong in both mind and body. You ask why? Well, imagine this: hauling several pounds of precious medicine and a full-grown man across soft snowy ground. Got it? Well now imagine that you have to do that for over 100 miles in subzero temperatures. Balto and all the other dogs must be really strong. Now imagine you are running but it seems like you are not moving because there is only white around you. That can drive you insane if you are not strong of mind like Balto was.

This is Balto's statue in Centeral Park:.)
This is Balto's statue in Centeral Park:.)

Six days later, after they left, when Balto, Musher Kaassen, and his team rode in to Nome, they saved many, many lives with the serum he carried for all those miles through the soft snow. Balto became known all around the world for his incredible feat of bravery, strength, smartness, perseverance, and trustworthiness. His body was preserved and displayed in the Cleveland Natural History Museum. A statue of him was erected by admirers in New York City’s Central Park. He legacy lives on. This is why Balto is my hero.

Page created on 6/1/2007 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/1/2007 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 - his story from PBS