Famous Upstate NY Dog on Permanent Display at the Smithsonian
Did you know a famous pooch originally from Albany is on permanent display at America's most famous museum?
OWNEY THE POSTAL DOG
In 1888, a postal clerk at the Albany post office began letting his dog Owney accompany him to the workplace everyday. It's been said that Oweny was either attracted to the smell or texture of mailbags, and would often sleep on them.
His owner eventually moved from the area, but because of the dog's obsession with mailbags, he knew Owney would be happier at the post office. So Owney stayed behind with the other mail clerks, essentially becoming the Albany post office's unofficial mascot.
But rather than the people, it was still those tantalizing mailbags that Owney was attracted to, and soon he began following them onto mail wagons and trains. The scruffy terrier mix from Albany was becoming the most well-traveled dog in the United States.
A TRUE ADVENTURE DOG
Postal workers from other cities began leaving tags, tokens and medals on Owney's collar to commemorate his travels. Eventually his collar became so weighed down with flair that a special harness had to be designed to more evenly distribute the weight over his body.
Owney's health started to fail by 1897, and his temperament became a liability. A postal clerk in St. Louis attempted to take him in to live out the rest of his life, but Owney allegedly could not sit still.
While traveling to Toledo, Ohio, a postal clerk recommended to the local sheriff that Owney be put down due to his uncontrollable behavior. Money was pooled from the mail clerks to preserve Owney's body, and his remains were taken to the Post Office headquarters in Washington D.C., eventually winding up at the Smithsonian in 1911.
WHERE IS OWNEY TODAY?
Owney is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian-owned Postal Museum in Washington D.C.. Tales of his adventures continue to inspire and fascinate visitors on a daily basis.
You can read more about Owney the Postal Dog and the historical tokens & medals he amassed during his life at the Postal Museum's website.
Five Exotic Pets That You Can Own in Upstate New York
'Bring Fido!' 15 New York Craft Breweries That Welcome Dogs
LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs