August 26 is National Dog Day. It seems that every day is National Dog Day in my house—especially as we remember my dog, Omar. Omar turned 15 this month, and shortly after, we had to say goodbye to him. Omar was a Cairn Terrier, the same breed as Toto from The Wizard of Oz, the famous story written by L. Frank Baum right here in Chicago. Baum and my family are not the only Chicagoans to love a furry, four-legged friend, and records in the Archives and Special Collections Division show it.
The archive images above document average and famous Chicagoans posing with their pups, participating in Chicago Park District dog contests, taking their pooches to the dog park and looking to adopt a new pet. The records also show City officials providing animal welfare and earning doggy snuggles in return. Let’s celebrate National Dog Day by looking back at Chicago dogs throughout history and share your best dog story in the comments.