The dog that would be named Togo was born in a very weak condition. His owner, Leonhard Seppala, did not see any potential in him and figured that he would eventually die at a young age. To his surprise, Togo grew up to be a very troublesome dog. He would always find a way to dig outside his dog pin and run across the field to disrupt his owner's dog training sessions. Even while locked away in a barn, Togo would somehow climb out and into the world.
Seppala tried to give him away to a neighbor, but the neighbor returned him when he turned out to be too exciteable. He was eventually given to a neighbor named Sarah Foley. While cooped up in the house, Togo proceeded to run amok and finally earned the gumption to run headfirst through a solid glass window and out into the Alaskian fields. Seppala had no choice, but to get Togo to run with his sled team. To his surprise, Togo was not only fit, but he was faster than any of the other dogs. Amazed at his ability, Seppala proceeded to name him Togo after Japanese admiral, Tōgō Heihachirō.
For the next couple of years, Togo and Seppala became a team with the former earning the latter much recognition and fame. Togo was eventually put to the ultimate test in 1925 when an outbreak of diphtheria spread to Nome, Alaska. Togo quickly took charge, leading Seppala's team of dogs across the Arctic to retreive the serum. However, Togo being 12 years old at the time (old for dog years) was becoming more and more tired. Despite this, he battled through and manged to get the serum back, though he suffered great injuries as a result.
Togo was put away for his health and safety, but the dog who had trained and fought alongside his owner refused to yield. Overcome with boundless energy, he chased after his master and showed a resilience to be apart of his team again. Togo remained loyal to his master, eventually siring pups of his own that became famous in their own right. Togo stayed with Seppala until he "left [Seppala] on Thursday in December." Despite another dog named Balto getting credit for the run, everyone continued to praise Togo as the true hero of Nome.
- While Togo is physically portrayed as a black and grey Siberian Husky with blue eyes, he actually had brown eyes in real life.
- The film depicts him living the rest of his life with Seppala. In real life, he was given to another sledder who lived in Maine. Seppala did visit him numerous times and was even by his side when he was euthanized.