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Basset hounds have their day

May 30, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

by Richard T. Meagher / staff photographer

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Basset hound

What could be better than to find a hobby you love that loves you back?

The owners of more than 100 basset hounds got together in the Williamsport area Saturday to share, to compare and to become more aware of the qualities of their chosen breed.

"We formed BROOD two years ago," said Rodica Stoicoiu. While the organization's name stands for Basset Rescue of Old Dominion, there are members in Maryland, like Stoicoiu, the vice president, who is from Germantown.

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The day's social events - described as a basset hound ramble - began at 11 a.m. with a walk along the C&O Canal at Cushwa Basin near the visitors center.

From there, the group journeyed to the Pinesburg home of organizer Diane Morgan for cool drinks, some shade and even dips in the pool.

As for the 100-plus basset hounds, many were put into a communal fenced-in area where they romped, sniffed and generally had a rollicking time.

"That is one of the qualities of the breed that first attracted many of us," Stoicoiu said. "They socialize. There's no posturing, no fights, lots of interaction."

Jurgen Portner came all the way from southern Virginia for the ramble because he believes in the rescue organization's principles.

"Some breeds are getting a bad reputation as biters or having a bad temperament," Portner said. He blames that phenomenon on puppy mills that raise breeds for money, not for character.

Morgan said the main purpose of BROOD is to find homes for basset hounds and to keep in touch so the breed can be protected.

"We screen and provide education because basset hounds have traits that people need to know," Stoicoiu said. The group has 40 members and is growing.

Morgan said she had been expecting about 70 bassets but more than 100 showed up, some from as far away as Georgia. She credits the Internet for that.

Portner uses the Internet to keep up with activities of Basset Rescue groups such as BROOD. He and his wife recently attended a similar event in Michigan.

Alisa Garbrick and husband, Randy, came from York, Pa., with Molly and Meg.

"I had always wanted bassets, initially because of the look," said Alisa Garbrick. But they stayed with bassets because of their personality, she said.

Brad Turner and his wife, Karalee, of Damascus, Md., saw an advertisement for the ramble in a BROOD newsletter and then sought out the Web page on the Internet.

They came and brought 2-year-old Duncan.

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