Owney The Postal Dog Gets Extreme Makeover

July 26 | 1 Comment

owney the postal dogA legacy that lasts longer than your physical self. That’s every dog’s goal.

That was the reason I wrote my book, the national best seller Bad to the Bone: Memoir of a Rebel Doggie Blogger. By putting paw to keyboard to computer screen, I was able to secure my place in history. Of course this presumes the Library of Congress doesn’t shut down like so many of our local libraries.

There are other, less taxing ways to stay in the hearts and minds of people the world over. Think about Rin-Tin-Tin, Lassie and of course Cujo. They’re all celluloid heroes, not to be confused by Kirsty Alley, a cellulite hero.

A dog can take the next step to immortality by having his owners stuff him. Not with good stuff like chicken, beef or chipmunk meat, but with whatever it is taxidermists use.

That’s how Owney the postal dog has stayed in the forefront. UPI has his story.

WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) — The National Postal Museum in Washington said the stuffed remains of Owney the dog, a postal icon since 1888, received a makeover to coincide with his stamp.

The museum said Owney, whose image graces a “Forever” stamp due to be released Wednesday, received was fixed up in June by retired Smithsonian taxidermist Paul Rhymer and is returning to display at the postal museum, The Washington Post reported Monday.

“My restoration got it back about halfway to what it should have looked like,” Rhymer said. “We decided to try to make him look a little better, a little more realistic.”

Rhymer said his work included replacing Owney’s eyes, patching bald spots on his fur and sculpting a new snout.

Owney the dog became famous after he wandered into a post office in Albany, N.Y., in 1888 and spent the night on a pile of mailbags. He traveled the country with the Railway Post Office until he was shot by a Toledo, Ohio, town marshal in 1897 after reportedly attacking a mail clerk.

But rather than bury their much-loved mascot, the mail clerks pulled together the money to have him preserved by a taxidermist. He was displayed at the Post Office Department’s headquarters in Washington until 1911, when he was transferred to the Smithsonian.

“This dog, he’s that indefatigable character that can throw you back into history,” said Linda Edquist, a conservator at the National Postal Museum. “It’s a great way to connect people to the 1890s.”

In light of the current economic climate, how long before the Post Office lays Owney off?


One Response to “Owney The Postal Dog Gets Extreme Makeover”

  1. Liv on August 6th, 2011 10:21 am

    Ok I gotta say that Owney is a tiny bit creepy…I’d have laid him off a long time ago, but that’s just me.  There are already too many glassy eyed stiffs working for the government now.

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