An Unhappy Dog-Owner  Eliza Jenkins charged John Wells and two other colored men employed by Poundmaster Einstein as dog-catchers with using profane language toward her.  The men pursued dogs in the Division and she had come to the window and told them to let the dogs alone, when they began to curse her.  The men were returning to the wagon when the complaining witness [Jenkins] began to curse them and throw missiles at them until they were required to beat a hasty retreat.  Judge Snell dismissed the case.  (Evening Critic, 31 Mar 1882, p. 4)

A Crazy Mule  In his report of the work done last week, Poundmaster Einstein says that 152 dogs, 2 horses, 2 steers and 1 mule were captured.  The mule appears to have made a record as a kicker and gave more trouble than all the other animals.  This particular animal, says the poundmaster, was crazy.  “He actually tried to climb a telegraph pole,” the chief dog-catcher said to a Star Reporter.  “The animal broke away from the bazaar [horse market] and had to be killed.”  (Evening Star, 21 Aug 1893, p. 8)

An Embarrassing Mistake  Yesterday evening, while out on their usual tour of capture, one of the poundmen  espied a little way off a fine-looking canine asleep on a porch [on F Street SW].  Preparing his net, he started for the animal, thinking of an easy capture.  He drew nearer to the noble-looking fellow but the dog did not even so much as raise his head.  Thinking him sleeping the dog-catcher approached nearer, but still no movement of the animal was perceptible.  Making one more step forward and preparing to cast his net, he took a final look and to his disgust found that he was attempting to capture a bronze dog.  Some of the neighbors roared with laughter, and the canine capturer departed quickly out of sight.  (Nat. Republican, 28 July 1874, p. 4)[1]

The President’s Cow  Mr. Einstein recalled an exciting incident shortly after his appointment.  A complaint was made that cows were running at large over the stony, ungraded lot now known as the White House ellipse, in 1873.  When he gathered the herd, he discovered that he had impounded a cow belonging to Col. Babcock, then Superintendent of Public Buildings, and another belonging to President Grant.  He wanted to collect $2 for each cow before releasing the animals.  The Superintendent protested, but when he called on President Grant to collect, the chief executive praised him for discharging his duty. (Evening Star, 23 March 1909, p. 19)[2]

An Evil Woman  Some days ago Johanna Quill had a warrant sworn out for Mary Walker, one of her neighbors, for keeping a barking dog, though, as it afterward proved, not only the bark but the dog was in the plural.  Mary heard of the warrant and “vamoosed the ranch” till she could see about getting bonds or bail.  While she was absent Johanna [broke] into the Walker house, set all the furniture on the street and sent for the pound master, and, beguiling Mr. Einstein, induced him to kill all of Mrs. Walker’s dogs.  When Mrs. Walker returned she found a woeful vacuity of dogs and had Mrs. Quill arrested on charge of destroying private property.  (Wash. Post, 29 July 1894, p. 8)

Another Embarrassing Mistake  One of [the poundmen] saw a dog in the gutter on a South Washington street last week.  He sneaked slowly and stealthily along with the net, and finally got near enough to throw it over the animal.  “Come along!” he yelled, “I’ve got him.”  The driver came and when the two attempted to lift the pup, they discovered they had captured a dead dog.  (Wash. Post, 18 Dec 1899, p. 12)

A Clever Ruse  A well-known Washingtonian has a pet bulldog, and both have congenial prejudices against muzzles.  In this dilemma, the owner used paint and brush to good effect, and gave doggie an imitation muzzle that looked like the real thing and fooled everybody.  The scheme worked brilliantly until a day or two ago.  Then the bulldog forgot himself, playfully strolled up to a hobbie skirt and gave a cute little tug with his teeth.  The result was complete wailing and gnashing of teeth at the home of the canine.  The poundmaster does not know whether he ought to prosecute or have a laugh on himself.  (Wash. Herald, 15 July 1911, p. 7)

By: Kael Anderson


[1] Some readers might recall the mock advice given by “veterinarian” James Thurber (reprinted in The Thurber Carnival) to a couple complaining that their dog neither eats nor exercises; “Doctor Thurber” concluded from the accompanying drawing that it was a brass statue.

[2] See also Wash. Times, 7 Aug 1904, p. 4 for a fuller account.  Another prominent citizen to deal with Einstein was Admiral George Dewey, whose dog Prince developed rabies and led the poundmaster a lengthy chase (Wash. Post, 8 Nov 1902, p. 2, and an admiring editorial in the next day’s edition).  He also impounded Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge’s two untagged Scotch terriers, over the Senator’s strong protests (Wash. Times, 24 Mar 1895, p. 12).

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