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Owney the Postal Dog
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Animal
    (circa 1880-July 11, 1897)
    Mixed-breed terrier
    Adopted by postal workers in Albany, New York (1888)
    Rode on mail trains
    Became unofficial mascot of the Railway Mail Service
    Preserved remains on display at the National Postal Museum of the Smithsonian Institution
    He was abandoned by his original owner.
    After his official retirement, he slipped out for one last trip, during which he attacked a postal clerk and a US Marshal in Toledo, Ohio, then was shot on the orders of the local Postmaster.
    When the Post Office issued an Owney stamp (2011), the press releases tended to gloss over the whole 'he bit one of us so we offed the son of a bitch' end to the story.
    When his remains were sent to a taxidermist for restoration work, the Postal Museum displayed a stand-in, dubbed 'Phony Owney.'
    He was considered a good luck charm since none of the rail trains he rode on was ever in a wreck.
    Postal clerks in other cities would mark his travels by placing tokens and medals on his collar.
    He accumulated so many tags that the Postmaster General gave him a harness to display them.
    He was sent on a goodwill trip around the world by the Post Office (1895).
    By the time he died, he was missing most of his teeth, so how much damage could he do even if he was trying to bite people?

Credit: C. Fishel


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