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New dog museum unleashed in New York

This Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, photo shows "Millie on the South Lawn" by Christine Merrill, alongside a letter from former first lady Barbara Bush on display at the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in New York. The museum opens Feb. 8 in midtown Manhattan. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a museum that invites visitors to come, sit and stay.

The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog opens Feb. 8 in midtown Manhattan. It's returning to New York after three decades on the outskirts of St. Louis.

The collection boasts portraits of royal and presidential pets, plus artifacts that trace canine history as far back as an estimated 30 million-year-old fossil. Electronic devices "match" visitors' faces with dog breeds and let people try their hand at basic dog training with a virtual puppy.

A library area lets museumgoers peruse some of the club's 15,000 books.

One thing there won't be: actual dogs, except for special occasions.

Executive Director Alan Fausel (FAW'-suhl) says he hopes the museum gives visitors "an understanding of the history of dogs" and their variety.

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