BOTH dog lovers and stamp collectors trickled into Ipoh’s main post office this week to get their hands on the first stamp series of 2018.
This unique series of stamp designs feature canines that are known for assisting humans in special working roles, namely detector dogs, protection dogs and guide dogs.
The tribute to these furry companions, in conjunction with the Year of the Dog, can be seen in a sketch of a firefighter and a Border Collie; a policeman and a Belgian Shepherd as well as a blind man with a Golden Retriever.
The miniature sheet features an illustration of a policeman with a German Shepherd and a Labrador.
The first to arrive at the post office at about 7am were 75-year-old Ong Te Jual and his wife.
“The post office wasn’t opened yet, but we had no problem waiting together,” he said.
Ong related that he and his wife both shared the same interest in collecting stamps when they were both 15 years old.
“It has always been a passion for both of us. We love collecting different designs of stamps throughout the years.
“They become more valuable as time passes. I bought a special monkey-design stamp when it was released over 30 years ago.
“Today, I hear it is valued at RM1mil, but it is priceless to me,” he said, adding that he has passed it down to his son.
Ong’s wife, Wong, also 75, said this stamp series was more important for them to collect as they both loved dogs.
“We used to keep pet dogs when we were younger. Now, we don’t have the energy to look after pets anymore,” she said.
The couple said they spent over RM400 buying multiple complete sets of the series.
Storekeeper Steven Chee, 28, said although he was not a dog lover, he loved collecting stamps and every new series released by Pos Malaysia.
“I arrived here at 8.40am to buy my stamps. I will be going to work slightly later today, but it is worth it,” he said.
Like Ong and Wong, Chee spent more than RM400 on the stamps, miniature sheets, first day covers and folders.
Dog lover Celia Tan, 38, a lawyer, arrived at 9.15am to buy first day covers of her favourite animal.
“I’m not an avid stamp collector, but I decided that I need to keep these stamps in my collection because I love dogs,” she said.
Tan, who has six pet dogs, said she started this hobby when she was a teenager.
“As I grew up and work took up most of my time, I didn’t have the time and energy to come rushing to the post office when they released a new stamp series.
“But this time, it is a special trip for me. Thankfully, I have flexible working hours,” she said, adding that her favourite sketch was of the Border Collie dog because she finds them intelligent and cute.
Similarly, spare parts dealer Lee Nyan Soon, 43, made the trip to the post office to immortalise his love for dogs.
“My pet dog died after it was hit by car five or six years ago.
“I like the dog design on the miniature sheets because it looks more heroic compared to the others,” he said.
Lee added that he used to be an avid stamp collector back when he had a friend to buy first day covers for him.
“After he stopped collecting about 10 years ago, I also couldn’t collect as much.
“These dog designs are a must for me to buy because they’re my favourite animal,” he said.
Production of the stamp series is limited to 200,000 pieces for each design, 30,000 pieces of First Day Covers, 25,000 Miniature Sheet Stamps and 1,800 folders.
The price of each stamp is 60 sen; mini sheets are RM5.30, first day covers at 55 sen per piece and folders at RM6.35. The complete set of the series is priced at RM58.10.