A dog who saw the world
Have you ever heared of Owney? That Owney who got 1017 medals and badges during his life, about whom newspapers were clamoring and poets were caroling. That Owney who traveled 143,000 miles around the globe. Here are some interesting facts about that iconic figure. By the way… Owney was a dog, the mixed-breed terrier.
It happened in 1888, in Albany, New York. An abandoned puppy Owney was adopted by postal workers and kept in the post office, even though it was against the department’s rules. The dog soon became an unofficial mascot for the Albany post office and then for the whole U.S. Postal Service. The dog accompanied postmen on ground, rails and water, serving as a guardian for mail pouches. It was believed that his presence protected carriages from accidents so he was always welcome aboard.
After being lost and found in 1893 Owney received a dog collar with an identifying badge, which gave birth to a new tradition – since then, postmen who met Owney, gave him different trinkets tags or medals. Today you can see the collection in the National Postal Museum.
In 1895 the postal dog went to an around-the-world trip aboard steamships, trains and cars, protecting international mail from stealing. During his trip he visited Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Some newspapers said that he had been honored with a medal from the Emperor of Japan. When Owney returned home his story was told by newspapers nationwide.
Nowadays Owney’s figure is memorized in a 2011 U.S. postage stamp, a commemorative silver spoon and in number of other memorial activities.
You have an outstanding dog story? Tell us! It would be fun to share. And take care!