I have been reading Amazing Dogs:A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities, a compendium of stories about little- known acting dogs, talking dogs, mathematician dogs, and traveling dogs of history. The book is a very thoughtful gift from my mom.
|Photos from http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/owney/|
I had just read the section on Owney, the adventurous mutt who traveled the Railway system in the 1890s, when I learned that the Smithsonian Postal Museum was unveiling an Owney stamp and having an Owney-fest this week, and the Washington Humane Society needed volunteers to be there.
What I didn't realize was that the real, taxidermied Owney himself is there and that I would get to meet him.
I find his story very touching--imagine a little terrier-mix just jumping on a train, lying down on a mail bag, and riding to a station far away. Sometimes disembarking for a meal at a pub, beloved by postal and rail employees who sometimes tried to take him in and give him a stationary home, but always following his heart back onto the train for another ride.
He's supposed to have traveled 140,000 miles around the world.
What an indomitable spirit!
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