2011 44¢ Owney the Postal Dog
Issue Date: July 27, 2011
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Clerks at the Albany, NY Post Office were so busy one autumn evening in 1888 they didn’t notice a stray puppy curled up on a pile of old mailbags. The postal workers adopted the mixed-breed dog and named him Owney.
Owney had a fondness for mailbags and rode with them as they were transferred from the Albany Post Office to the railroad depot. He eventually started traveling with the mail to New York City. After a while, he would be gone for months at a time.
To ensure their friend made his way home, the Albany clerks gave him a collar inscribed “Owney, Post Office, Albany, New York.” They attached a note to his collar asking employees of the Railway Mail Service to fasten leather or metal baggage tags to his collar to record his travels. They soon realized Owney was traveling around the country.
Owney’s collar became too heavy for him to wear, so Postmaster General John Wanamaker gave him a special jacket to display his many tags and badges. Owney’s adventures took him all across the country and around the world. Over the years, the postal dog received 1,017 souvenirs from his travels.
Owney was preserved and can be seen at the National Postal Museum. He reminds us that postal history can take on different – even lovable – forms.