Saturday Stories – Owney the Post-Obsessed Dog


Illustration of Owney on Mail Sack | Public domain | via Wikimedia Commons

A few weeks ago we published a Saturday Story about Bob the Railway Dog and his love of trains. Today’s post is a true story about another dog called Owney and his love of anything to do with post or letters.

Owney was a dog whose owner worked as a post clerk back in the late 1800s. He was very close to his owner, and followed him to work. Being around his owner’s work all the time, Owney became obsessed with the scent and texture of post bags.

Similar to Bob the Railway Dog’s story, Owney’s owner sadly had to move away. Rather than go with his owner, Owney chose to stay with his new friends at the post office so that he could be close to the post bags. Being around them all the time, his love of post bags grew and grew, and he would be seen regularly following post bags around the post office. Over time his confidence grew and he would even follow the post bags onto wagons and trains, riding with them across the country and eventually around the world!

Back in Owney’s time period in the late 1800s issues with trains were far more common. As such, it was noticed that every train he rode in never had an issue. He subsequently became known as a good luck charm. Each successful journey or travel he made was marked by different tags and medals added to his collar, and when this ran out of room he was given a harness so that he could wear more.

When he eventually passed away in 1897, the postal office paid to have him preserved. To this day he is still on display in the National Postal Museum, wearing his harness and tags.

Chris Green

About the Author: Chris Green works in the office at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs, using his technical expertise to assist wherever needed. In his spare time he likes playing guitar and bass, and hiking around Dartmoor.

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