Tag, You’re It

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 | Blog

Ever wonder about the history behind dog tags? The oldest known American dog license tag is an 1853 Corporation of Fredericksburg, Virginia medallion.

Though they were originally made to be disposable, vintage dog license tags which are a bit creative are now highly collectible. Especially shapes like doghouses, acorns, police shields, dog bones and dog-head silhouettes. More unusual forms can also be found: six-pointed stars, three-leaf clovers, locks, keystones and butterflies. There is even an International Society of Animal License Collectors.

In 1888, a stray Terrier mix named Owney was informally adopted by the U.S. Railway Mail Service. Owney’s travels began in Albany, New York; riding on mail sacks, he journeyed all over the U.S. As he traveled, employees of the Railway Mail Service would attach tokens and dog licenses to his custom-made harness and jacket.

Because of his history of “collecting” tags, Owney is also the unofficial mascot of the International Society of Animal License Collecting, a fiercely devoted club dedicated to preserving the history of dog tags.

With the rise of middle-class pet ownership in the nineteenth century, the bureaucracy involved with dog licensing expanded and the appearance and design of the tags and licenses themselves became more involved.

The earliest form was paper dog licenses. They came in a variety of colors, with details of the dog being licensed on the front; sometimes a printed image of a dog appeared as well. The next step, toward the end of the 19th century, was metal license tags.

Our choice of collar tags is Boomerang Collar Tags. They are made of stainless steel and extremely durable. We love that the tag can include her microchip information as well as several phone contacts. Since Diamond has an everyday collar and others for special occasions, she has a Boomerang collar tag for each collar.

Today’s image is from yesterday’s photo shoot with Zeus. Diamond played with the handsome puppy at the end and they had a great time together. It’s such a joy to meet another dog and great dog person.

By the way, any guesses as to what famous person was issued a military dog tag with the number 53310761? Here a hint, one of his dogs was named Brutus, and there is another well-known dog connection. Tag, you’re it.

"Because my collar tag doesn't jingle, it makes it easier for me to lift FM's iphone so I can text my BFF's (Best Furry Friends)."
— Diamond —

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