Owney the Dog

One of the most popular exhibitions in the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum is the story of Owney, the scruffy mutt who became the unofficial mascot of the Railway Mail Service in the late 19th century. Owney’s unusual life and wide-spread travels have inspired several children’s books. Elementary schools across the United States continue to use the story of Owney as a way to connect their students with those in other states by sending stuffed toy dogs from school to school through the mail accompanied by messages from students to one another.