Illinois' Mt. Vernon Register-News reports a local Post Office is looking for an area dog that looks like Owney, the unofficial postal mascot back in the 19th century.
Noelle Lamacchia, the officer in charge at the Bluford, Illinois Post Office, is quoted in the piece as saying, “We want to celebrate by having a look-alike contest for Owney on to commemorate the unveiling of the stamp.”
Reporter Tesa Culli pens, "Residents with a dog that looks like Owney can contact the Bluford Post Office for details on how to enter it in the contest. The winner will receive a bag of doggie treats, a picture in the paper and a sheet of the new Owney stamps."
She goes on to say, "Railway mail clerks considered the Owney a good luck charm. At a time when train wrecks were common, no train Owney rode was ever in a wreck. The railway mail clerks adopted Owney as their unofficial mascot, marking his travels by placing medals and tags on his collar. Each time Owney returned home to Albany, the clerks there saved the tags.
"Owney died in Toledo, Ohio, of a bullet wound on June 11, 1897. His body was preserved and given to the Smithsonian Institution, now on display in the National Postal Museum atrium."
Shown above, Owney's stamp which will be issued July 27.
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Click here for a free 20-page guide to celebrating Owney in your own community.