Owney is a tramp, as you can plainly see. Only treat him kindly, and take him along with ye.
July 2, 2008 9:23 AM Subscribe
Owney the Postal Dog
posted by Shepherd (17 comments total)
3 users marked this as a favorite
was the unofficial mascot of the U.S. postal service in the 1890s, riding the rails with the mails and accumulating an impressive collection of dog tags on a specially designed vest. He even made it as far as Japan
, being issued a special postal class (Registered Dog Package) and an official Japanese passport. After an illustrious career, however, Owney met a sticky end -- shot by the police under dubious circumstances in Toledo in 1897.
Despite his ignominious death, Owney has inspired lots and lots
and even a decade-long public school project
with stuffed "traveling dogs" being sent from state to state. And, speaking of stuffed, Owney can be seen in the fur, preserved at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. (and even post-taxidermy, he apparently gets out and about every 40 years or so
). There's even a video
, narrated in a voice so folksy you can't help but imagine a kindly old man strapping you to a rocking chair and jamming crackers and home-made jam down your throat. Owney stands in obvious contrast to the stereotypical postal worker/dog relationship
, with the U.S. Postal Service reporting over 3000 bitten carriers in 2007 and holding a Dog Bite Prevention Week
every year in May.