BALTO Resurrected?



(A Post Today January 25, 2016 | By on Faith and Science Seeking Understanding – See more at: raises the same question I did about four months ago  I felt it was worth re-upping Balto. And Emily Hylden’s response: Hope of Things Not Seen ( 28 September 2015)

BALTO – An ICON of Canine Magnificence

A dear friend, and priest of the Church, recently posted a picture of herself with a statue of Balto in Central Park in the Borough of Manhattan. Using Balto as a backdrop she communicates to us all the uncanny ability to see an icon in the most ordinary of things. I suspect she knew when she posted the picture that Balto’s accomplishments were legendary and that his service brought about the inspiration for the annual sled race commonly called the “Iditarod”.  I think Balto is a true Icon in that his statue represents more than a tribute to a husky sled dog.  It shows something inspired by the divine.  Balto did what many of us humans would shrink from doing and that is he was able to navigate near whiteout conditions (a snow storm) to deliver a serum desperately needed for a diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska. With commitment and bravery Balto guided his team of sled dogs through the blinding snow to bring relief to human suffering from a dread disease.  Such bravery and fortitude challenges our notions of what it means to have a “soul”. Is it possible that our theology has erred in determining that our “best friends” simply do not have a soul?

Taken from Wikipedia:

Balto (1919 – March 14, 1933) was a black and white Siberian husky sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome, in which diphtheria antitoxin was transported from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nenana, Alaska, by train and then to Nome by dog sled to combat an outbreak of the disease. The run is commemorated by the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Balto was named after the Sami explorer Samuel Balto. Balto died of old age at 14.

Balto proved himself on the Iditarod trail, saving his team in the Topkok River. Balto was also able to stay on the trail in near whiteout conditions; Kaasen stated he could barely see his hand in front of his face. Balto’s team did their leg of the run almost entirely in the dark. The final team and its sledder were asleep when Balto and Kaasen made it to the final stop, so Kaasen decided to continue on. At Nome, everybody wanted to thank Kaasen at first, but he suggested giving fame to Balto as well.

May God look with favor on those animals in service to mankind especially our canines.  Who among you could perform such a feat?

As for me, my, now deceased, springer spaniel was one of the most loyal and loving of creatures.  May she rest in peace.  An may God have mercy on our souls.

2 thoughts on “BALTO Resurrected?

  1. Reblogged this on hope of things not seen and commented:
    My sweet friend, Paul, wonders about the eternal staying power of our dear canine (and other animal) friends.
    A dog lover from the time I could walk, the story of Balto first captured my imagination as an elementary student; I was–clearly–overcome when I spied the statue in Central Park yesterday.
    Instead of having a unique, embodied soul, I tell myself that our furry companions’ personalities may show up again in another pet, part of the foggy hint of the divine hidden throughout all creation.
    In my husband’s senior pictures, he brought his companion, Cinder, a courageous and loving German Shepherd with somewhat unusual coloring. I never met this sweet favorite childhood dog of Jordan’s, except that when I went to a shelter in Durham a decade later, I met and adopted on the spot a courageous and loving German Shepherd with somewhat unusual coloring.
    Though animals pass away like the flowers of the field, in their lives they show us the beauty of God.


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