A Lucky Dog!

I’m a pretty lucky dog. I’ve had a nice life with people who love me.I get to go to work with my Mom Person and play with kids. I have a lovely river not far outside my door. I have a full toy basket with LOTS of tennis balls and jars full of treats. I never have to stay out in the weather or miss meals. Life is pretty good.

IMG_2473I hear a lot about homeless dogs and dogs who live in shelters. I worry about things like that. All dogs should have a family to love and take care of. I also hear stories about lucky dogs who find those loving families by pure chance.

We read a book today about just such a dog. He not only found a great family full of love, he also found a job full of adventure and became famous along the way. He was very lucky!

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A LUCKY DOG, Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot was written by Dirk Wales and illustrated by Diane Kenna. I couldn’t find much information about either Mr Wales or Ms Kenna. I did find an interesting interview with Mr Wales that you can watch HERE.

A Lucky Dog was originally published in 2003 by Great Plains Press. Our book was published in 2006 by Scholastic.

This book is suitable for K & up

Themes — working dogs, rescue dogs, postal service

The book begins — “Nameless and homeless, the small dog shivered in the gloom.”

That would be a homeless little dog in Albany, New York in 1889 who was lucky to find an open door into a dry, warm post office with nice, soft mail bags to curl up on. Then he was lucky to be found by a nice young postal worker named Owen who had a nice supervisor who let the dog stay. They all called the dog Owney because he was Owen’s dog. Owney became the Post Office mascot and got to go wherever the workers went. Even on the rail cars that carried the mail across the country! Owney was lucky to be able to travel all over the country and eventually around the world with the mail! At all the places he stopped on his travels he received a bagging tag and acquired so many that they had to make a special coat for him to hold them all.

owney_postal_dogMs Kenna’s illustrations are quite nice. Simple with a lot of emotion. They make you feel like you’re riding the rails with Owney! We had a fun time reading this book. The kids all agreed that Owney was indeed a very lucky dog! They had never ridden on a train before. Lucky Owney! The book has a railroad map from 1890 that was pretty cool to look at. We couldn’t find Glen Rose – the words are VERY tiny, but it showed that Owney stopped at a few places in Texas.

It would be interesting to have a bigger discussion about some of the places that Owney travelled along with the mail.
If you happen to be lucky enough to live near Washington DC or lucky to travel there, you could visit the National Postal Museum and see Owney himself, stuffed and wearing all his tags. You can click here and learn more.

Here’s a little video about Owney —

The Postal Museum has actually created a curriculum guide for teachers. You can find that HERE.

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday and there are a lot of great picture books to be found at Susanna Hill’s blog. You might want to check it out! You might get lucky!

I hope you have a lucky day today! I have a day off and will be taking it easy!

rhythm sleepingRhythm

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38 thoughts on “A Lucky Dog!

  1. I live about an hour away from Washing ton DC and often go to the museums there so I will be sure and look up Owney at the National Postal Museum. I’ll love to see his coat with all his tags.

    Such a cute book about a mascot! I have to be sure and find it. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m so glad you added this book to our list! I tried to write it a couple years ago… only to find out it had already been done πŸ™‚ I love stories that are based on things that really happened, especially if they star a dog πŸ™‚

  3. This reminds me of the true story of a girl that traveled by mail train to visit relatives. She was mailed! Mailing May, I think?

  4. Wow! I almost skipped this review. I seem to be way behind because it’s hard to find good computer help these days, and I’m enjoying pushing that delete button!!
    Just kidding. I read that somewhere and thought it was funny. πŸ™‚
    Lucky sure was a lucky dog. So much was different back then. I doubt the post office would have a live mascot making the rounds anywhere. You know I love dog rescues and Lucky would have been very welcome at the one I help.

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