Credit: Darrow Montgomery

D.C. has its share of monumental creatures: The pair of limestone lions outside the Temple of the Scottish Rite; the bronze hippopotamus squatting on the GW campus; many steeds beneath famous men (and Joan of Arc). But the District’s best creature creation is crafted of skin, fur, and bone. Made by God, stuffed by man, the National Postal Museum’s taxidermied corpse of Owney the Dog pays tribute to the mutt who hounded postal lines in the late 19th century. According to Postal Museum literature, Owney expired in 1897 when he reportedly “became ill tempered” and was calmed by way of fatal bullet wound. Owney has been on display by the Smithsonian Institution since 1911, but his story’s not as transparent as his glass resting place. According to the museum, “the exact circumstances [of his death] were not satisfactorily reported.”