owney usps mascot dog with medals collected

Dog Not Licked By Postage Due

Last night, Melissa Harris-Perry was the guest host of The Rachel Maddow Show and the Best New Thing segment was about scruffy mutt named Owney. Owney was the nation’s most famous canine, riding with Railway Mail Service clerks and mailbags all across the nation from 1888 until his death in 1897. And Owney was a collector — everywhere this dog went, he was given souvenir dog tags, exonumia, tokens, “trade checks.”

And today, this dog finally has his day: Owney is being commemorated with a United States postage stamp!

In this clip from The Rachel Maddow Show, Melissa talks about USPS mascot, Owney the dog, and briefly mentions the many medals.

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Like Will Femia, a self-professed hoarder who blogged about Melissa’s Best New Thing segment on Owney, I’m shocked, smitten, and more than a bit envious. Femia wrote:

I can say without reservation that I would happily give up the glass jar full of matchboxes that sits on the bathroom shelf (and I’ll throw in all of my Foursquare check-ins ever) for a chance to grow a cool collection of medals like Owney’s.

It’s hard not to feel “licked” by this dog when it comes to collecting! (Even if the new postage stamp is one of those self-adhesive types.)

For more on Owney, check out all the posts on him at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Blog, Pushing The Envelope — there’s even an Owney Look-Alike Contest!

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Deanna

Deanna is the founder of Inherited Values, among other sites. She is also an antique dealer.

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