My day job requires me to go to the post office a lot, and on a recent trip I was stoked to see that the US Postal Service has issued a new stamp in commemoration of Owney the Postal Dog. Owney, a terrier mix, used to ride the mail trains back in the late 1800s.

Apparently work on ye olde postal railway was pretty dangerous back in the day, and the postal workers saw Owney as kind of a guardian angel and mascot. As Owney traveled from post to post, people would attach souvenir tags to his collar (as seen in the stamp’s illustration). Owney eventually collected so many tags that the then Postmaster gifted him a harness to display his treasures.

I like how Owney’s stamp is a “Forever” stamp. For me it speaks to the enduring loyalty and friendship of dogs.

Image: National Postal Museum

“Forever” kind of has another meaning when it comes to Owney, though. When Owney finally passed away, his human mail-carrier pals celebrated his life and service by, um, “preserving” him – stuffing him and bequeathing him to the Post Office Department’s headquarters. Owney is now on display at the National Postal Museum (which, I’m not going to lie, kind of wigs me out), along with his famous collar and harness.

You can learn more about Owney through the National Postal Museum, and his stamp is available at post offices and online.