More than 70 dogs across the country lounged on mailbags, dressed up in letter carrier uniforms, and posed by mailboxes, competing to be the modern-day Owney the postal dog’s look-alike. The nation-wide contest sponsored by the National Postal Museum and the Washington Humane Society logged 8,284 votes from the public to select the three dogs that best represent the spirit of Owney. The contest ran from July 27 to October 17, 2011.
Bentley is a 4- or 5-year-old terrier mix who somehow became homeless -- just like Owney. But, luckily, his travels (not on a train, but in the Tri-City Animal Shelter Mobile Adoption Bus) brought him to the Niles Dog Show in July 2008. That's where he and I met, and I adopted him from the shelter right away. He's a great dog and my very best friend. This year, at the 2011 Niles Dog Show, Bentley won first prize in the Owney Look-Alike Contest. In addition to receiving a blue ribbon, he was selected to serve as Owney's official stand-in at the July 30th Golden Gate Railroad Museum's celebration of the Railway Postal Service and USPS's Owney Stamp-Release. Bentley appeared at the event wearing a harness with lots of tags attached – just like Owney's. He must have caught Owney’s spirit, because he climbed right up the steps of the railway postal car and settled down comfortably on and near the mail bags. He seemed to feel right at home on the train, and he greeted everyone who came through with a smile, accepted lots of pats, and posed nicely for countless photos. He was a big hit. (I think he understands why Owney liked being a "mail dog" so much!) Bentley did a great job representing Owney, and he hopes to be voted Owney's look-alike at the Smithsonian Railway Postal Museum.
Like Owney, I’m just a nice guy happy to have found a loving home. You see, I was abandoned at age 6. Yup, just dropped off at a shelter and left to my own defenses. No home, no owners, heck, I don’t even know what kind of dog I am! I sat there for months waiting for the right family to come along. Thankfully, I was rescued by my loving family and now enjoy long walks around the neighborhood, lots of family time and I am even invited on family vacations! I love to travel and to visit new places. I would be just tickled to bits if I got to visit the Smithsonian. I have a heart of gold and am a very loyal friend to the new baby in my house. Mom and Dad read stories to her every night and I think she would just love Owney: Tails from the Rails. Thanks for checking me out, happy trails!
Hello! My name is Murphy Jones. I am a scruffy terrier mutt who was rescued from the pound at a very young age. My favorite things in life are romping through fields, helping my people fish, and chewing on hooves. Whenever I go on trips I fearlessly take the position as co-pilot and navigator. Everybody at the dog park is my friend, for in addition to my scruff, I have a natural smile. On a really good day, a cloud of dust follows me wherever I go. Since I can't quite reach the mailbox, I'm not so good in postal service, but if a letter happens to fall to the floor, I'll taste it for you. I mostly protect my mom from squirrels, bunnies, birds, and deer--but trust me, a bandit in the night would not stand a chance!