Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Offf* (for Office*, Official*, etc.)

A scrappy stray puppy dog, who would come to be known as Owney, wandered into a downtown Albany post office one dark and stormy night in the winter of 1888, or so the story goes. And the story certainly does go. Owney was discovered by some postal employees sleeping on a canvas mail bag and appeared to be quite satisfied with the accommodations. He started stowing away on mail trains, and before long became the "unofficial mascot" of postal workers throughout the country. They adorned him with various "tags, tokens, trinkets, and medals" to commemorate his travels, which in 1895 took him all the way around the world. Although fully a dozen (!) books have been written about him so far, the U.S. Postal Service is making it that much more official today by releasing a postage stamp in Owney's honor. The occasion is being celebrated here in a "day of entertainment with storytellers, Owney videos and Dog Star sightings in the Henry Hudson Planetarium, music by the Owney String Band, an exhibit by the Mohawk & Hudson Humane Society, and a guided walking tour to the former downtown post office that Owney called home." An official count of our typo for the day comes in at 38 in OhioLINK and 524 in WorldCat.

(Photo of Owney in 1897, from the Smithsonian Institution, and Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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