Dog lovers everywhere will rejoice in the delightful true story of Owney, the Mail-Pouch Pooch by Mona Kerby. Mothers and librarians will further rejoice that this book is currently in print and relatively easy to find for under ten dollars. Additionally, homeschoolers and teachers will be glad to know that there is a short three-minute historical video on Youtube produced by the author that can be used to add to the reading experience.
“In the year 1888, on a cold rainy October night in Albany, New York, a straggly terrier mutt wandered through the empty streets looking for a place to get out of the rain… at the post office, the back door was open a crack and the dog squeezed inside…”
The following day, when the mailmen arrived at work in their blue woolen suits, the dog was curled up, sleeping on a pile of mail pouches. The dog was unwilling to leave and the mailmen were unwilling to turn him out. After several days, they decided to name him Owney. Owney was a great pet of all the mailmen. But as each tried to take him home with them, Owney made it clear that he didn’t want to live in a home. He wanted to be a post office dog.
One day, when the mail pouches were being loaded onto the wagon to go to the train station, Owney jumped aboard. On the return trip, a mail pouch fell off the wagon. Owney jumped down and guarded the bag until a carrier came looking for him. It was then decided that Owney should always ride the wagon to and from the train station.
A few weeks later, when delivering the mail to the train station, Owney jumped off the wagon and onto the mail train. And this is the beginning of Owney’s incredible true-story worldwide adventures.
This book is an absolute delight to read aloud! It is exciting and incredible. The writing is solid and engaging.
Owney’s story is so beloved that it has been told many times. I haven’t read all the retellings, but of those I have read, this is the one I love best!