"Owney was a muttly terrier who rose from the ranks of the homeless to celebrity status with his image on the new forever U.S. postage stamp. His life was that of a courageous 19th-Century pioneer pup, fighting the odds, if not the Indians," writes humorist Maggie Van Ostrand on the Huffington Post website.
She goes on to say, "Owney was born in Albany, New York. Probably. One can never tell with a one-night stand. He may have been born in 1886, 1887 or 1888, more or less. You see, births were not registered back then unless you were human. Owney badly wanted to be human and even more than that, he wanted to be a mailman in the RMS (Railway Mail Service). Some say that Owney began his career walking to work with a human postal clerk who took a shine to him and let him hang out at the work place. Others believe Owney simply crept into the post office, unnoticed, and began his career that very day, when he fell in love with a mail pouch."
According to Van Ostrand, "Owney is right up there with Lassie, Old Yeller and Benjie with many books written about him: Owney The Post Office Dog and Other Great Dog Stories, by Joe L. Wheeler; The Further Adventures of a Lucky Dog: Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot by Dirk Wales; Owney the Mail Pouch Pooch, by Mona Kerby; A Small Dog's Big Life: Around the World With Owney, by Irene Kelly; and All Aboard, Owney! The Adirondack Mail Dog, by Jennifer Gordon Sattler."
There's even an Owney The Dog iPhone app. and an Owney iPad interactive ebook, issued in conjunction with the Postal Museum's Owney LookAlike contest. (Voting begins September 16).
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