Notable Dogs: Etah, First to the South Pole

Raold Amundsen led the first successful excursion to the South Pole, and leading him was a Samoyed or Greenland bitch named Etah. Among the factors contributing to Amundsen’s success was the decision to use dogs for transportation, which were eschewed by his main competitor, Robert Falcon Scott, as being undignified.  Etah has been claimed by both Samoyed and Greenland Dog fanciers, and for good reason. As the lead dog in the expedition leader’s team, Etah was the first mammal to reach the South Pole.  Etah was one of just eleven dogs which survived the expedition, out of the 100+ with which it began. The New York Times printed several letters of protest over the dogs’ treatment. 1911.

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