As we swelter through summer’s dog days — and because August is National Dog Month — here’s a look at stamps that celebrate (hu)man’s best friend:
1. Dogs with a mission. These include 2019’s Military Working Dogs, featuring the stylized images of a Belgian Malinois, Dutch shepherd, German shepherd and Labrador retriever; McGruff the Crime Dog, a 20-cent stamp featuring the canine detective, issued for Crime Prevention Month in 1984; Arctic Explorations, a 4-cent stamp from 1959 marking the 50th anniversary of Adm. Robert Peary’s husky-enabled North Pole expedition; and Seeing for Me, a 15-cent stamp from 1979 marking the 50th anniversary of the Seeing Eye guide dog school.
2. Animal welfare. This category includes Humane Treatment of Animals, a 5-cent stamp from 1966 marking the centennial of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Neuter and Spay, a 37-cent stamp from 2002 that featured a toll-free number in the selvage for more information; and Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet, 44-cent stamps from 2010 unveiled by Postmaster General Jack Potter on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
3. Disney dogs. The Art of Disney series, released over several years in the mid-2000s, included an image of Pluto (2005, 37 cents) and scenes from “Lady and the Tramp” (2006, 39 cents) and “101 Dalmations” (2008, 42 cents).
4. Cartoons and Muppets. This group includes Scooby-Doo!, a 2018 release highlighting the Doo Good youth campaign, and a stamp of Rowlf the Dog that was part of the 2005 Jim Henson the Man Behind the Muppets release. Snoopy appears on several stamps but got a starring role in a 34-cent stamp from 2001’s “Peanuts” commemoratives.
5. Cute illustrations. Rowlf did the honors at the 1986 dedication for the 22-cent Puppy Love stamp, part of the Love series. The 32-cent Bright Eyes stamps from 1998 depict five common family pets in whimsical drawings that contain scrambled indicia, a hidden security feature. For the dog stamp, the hidden images are a doghouse and bone. And Puppy and Kitten, a 13-cent illustrated stamp, was issued in 1982 during a Humane Society convention.