Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

THIS DAY IN POSTAL HISTORY – Owney The Postal Dog

June 11, 2024
owney

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On June 11, 1897, the US Railway Mail Service mascot, Owney the Postal Dog, died in Toledo, Ohio.

On one cool fall evening in 1888, clerks at an Albany, New York, Post Office were so busy, they didn’t notice a stray puppy curled up on a pile of old mailbags. Once they did, they adopted the mixed-breed dog and named him Owney.

It’s been suggested that Owney may have been the dog of a former postal clerk who brought him along on his walk to work. When his owner moved away, Owney stayed at the post office, as he seemed to enjoy the texture or the smell of the mailbags.

Owney had such a fondness for mailbags that he 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. The railway mail clerks considered him a good luck charm. He rode the rails at a time when train wrecks were not uncommon, but in his nearly 10 years of travel, he was never in a wreck.

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