Happy Thanksgiving! It’s been a little over a year since I started this website and blog to help spread the word about the search for Railroad Jack. Thank you to everyone who has joined the search, sends me ebay links to dog taxidermy (I actually love this so feel free to do it too!), has listened to me talk ad nauseum about Jack and Owney, or has told a friend or shared a link or Tweet. I’m so thankful for all of your interest and support.
So where do we stand in the search after this year? Sadly, I still haven’t come much closer to finding Railroad Jack. But, I’ve had the fortune to have Jack’s story featured in the Albany Times Union, to give talks about him at museums and author readings (thanks to the Arkell Museum and the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes!), and speak to lots of people. Our best bet in finding him is to continue to spread the word. I ask that you keep sharing– you never know how might have the missing piece of the puzzle, you know, or a dog corpse in their attic.
But now, I want to turn my attention briefly to Thanksgiving as it relates to the historical narrative of this project. Last year, I wrote about how Jack loved food and surely would have loved a traditional American Thanksgiving feast. Sadly though, there are no records that specify Jack ever taking his place at a Thanksgiving table. I wouldn’t doubt this happened, but I also have no proof. I do, however, have a brief story of Owney enjoying a large holiday meal.
On Thanksgiving 1894, Owney was in New England where he made stops in Providence, RI and New London, CT. In Providence, “He was filled so full of turkey and roast goose that he could hardly waddle.” He managed to heave himself onto a train for New London where, “when he arrived there a juicy porter-house steak was laid before him but he was so full it is stated that he could do nothing more than sniff it and say, ‘Tain’t no use boys. I’m stuffed.'” Reportedly, “his distended hide glistened with the after effect of good cheer.”
So you see, old dead dogs are gluttons just like us. Thanks again for all of your help in this search. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!