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 Goes Around the World

A rather nondescript dog boarded a mail steamer 115 years ago today in preparation for a trip around the world. In 1895, that dog, known as Owney, had already made a name for himself across the U.S. and was about to put his paw print on the rest of the world.

Owney, Mascot of the Railway Mail Service, Makes an Appearance at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Owney held court in the “American Experience” tent at the 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.National Postal Museum staff and volunteers had three days during the festival to highlight the museum’s collection and its programming.

Tracking Owney

My research project this semester is, in the words of curator/historian Nancy Pope, to research a "rather odd" part of postal history. That "rather odd" part of history is Owney, the late 19th century canine mascot of the Railway Mail Service.

Object Search

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.

Related Content

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.