Owney

Topical Reference Page
Owney the dog with tags

Owney was a scruffy mutt who became a regular fixture at the Albany, New York, post office in 1888. His owner was likely a postal clerk who let the dog walk him to work. Owney began to ride with the bags on Railway Post Office (RPO) train cars across the state . . . and then the country! The RPO clerks adopted Owney as their unofficial mascot, marking his travels by placing medals and tags from his stops on his collar.

Related Blogs

Owney the Dog Look-Alike Contest

National Postal Museum announces Owney the Dog’s modern-day look-alike contest.

The Big Reveal: Owney the Dog Emerges from his “Makeover”

For a dog of his age (at least 124 years), Owney doesn’t look so bad. But when you’re the subject of two new exhibitions, a US postage stamp, nation-wide celebrations, a look-alike contest, and a four-day family festival, you want to look your best. This week, Owney emerged from his conservation treatment, or “makeover” as we like to call it, and here’s how the Railway Mail Service mascot looks since leaving exhibit in May 2011.

Countdown to Owney (#4)

As you may have heard, on July 27, 2011, Owney will be honored with his very own postage stamp. To celebrate this great occasion, this is the fourth in a series of blogs celebrating some of Owney’s tags.

Picturing Owney

Owney was a mixed breed dog, people who met him agreed he was mostly terrier, but few agreed on other elements of his ancestral background. Owney’s lack of a pure breed look, mixed with a wide variation of talent among newspaper artists, allowed for some interesting, occasionally odd, images of Owney that accompanied some of his newspaper stories.

Owney Collection Objects

Discover all the Owney objects in our collection, including the many tags and the souvenir spoon commissioned by a group of Cleveland, Ohio, postal clerks for Owney.

Toy Owney the Dog For Sale at Museum Shop

Now you can buy an Owney! Approximate size is 12 x 6 x 6 inches. 
To order, please contact the Museum Shop.

Owney's Facebook Page

Owney shares photos, fun facts, answers questions, and more. Find out where Owney traveled on today's date in history. Many of Owney's posts are useful for classroom teachers.