The U.S. Postal Servic ewill be making dog people very happy today with the release of the new working dog stamps.
The set of four stamps, that celebrates the partnership of dogs and people, depicts four typical jobs of working canines: guide dogs, therapy dogs, tracking dogs and search dogs.
Most importantly, they're quite cute.
The guide dog is a black Labrador retriever, the sweet therapy dog -- pictured being petted -- is a Welsh springer spaniel. A yellow Labrador is the tracking dog while the search dog is a German shepherd, standing in tall grass.
Syracuse, N.Y., artist John M. Thompson painted each stamp in acrylics, based on photographs that he composed.
"We are proud to commemorate these specialized dogs on stamps," U.S. Postal Inspection Service Homeland Security Coordinator Michael T. Butler said, while dedicating the stamps. "These animals are critical to serving individuals with special needs and critical to enabling successful rescues."
The stamps are available in self-adhesive sheets of 4, 10 or 20. They're 65 cent stamps, which means they work for mailing heavier first-class mail.
Bird lovers, meanwhile, will be excited about today's release of the Purple Martin forever stamp celebrating North America's largest swallow. It was designed using illustrations by Annapolis artist Matthew Frey.
The stamp features a purple martin perching and a smaller one in flight.