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Gathering of the Hush Puppies: Basset hounds pal around in Prospect Park • Brooklyn Paper

Gathering of the Hush Puppies: Basset hounds pal around in Prospect Park

Woof: Buckley mixed and mingled with his basset hound companions at the third annual Brooklyn Basset Hound Meet-up in Prospect Park on Oct. 27.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

There ain’t no party like a basset hound party.

A bunch of long-faced pooches and the people who love them converged in Prospect Park on Sunday for the third annual Brooklyn Basset Hound Meet-Up, hosted by the North Park Slope Basset Association. Yes, there is such an organization, and boy were its members excited about this event.

“It was so much fun. There were floppy-eared dogs everywhere,” said organizer Kerry Geise of Park Slope, who has brought his three-year-old pup Higgins to the gathering of droopy-eyed, short-legged purebreds every year so far.

It is a passion for the odd-looking animals that keeps him and the others coming back, Geise said.

“Most basset owners are obsessed with their bassets,” he said, explaining that it is fun to compare notes about the quirks of their canine companions.

Geise said that he and his husband bonded with other droopy-dog aficionados over how Higgins has a tendency to howl when left alone — a common trait in the dogs — and how the pup will only sit in a specific spot on the couch. Learning the funny names of other bassets, such as Broccoli, Hampton, Buckley, and George is also apart of the draw, he said.

About 15 of the dogs and as many as 40 of their human companions turned out for the Hush Puppy huddle in the northern part of Brooklyn’s backyard and Higgins got a bit jealous watching other hounds get showered with kisses and belly rubs, Geise admitted.

Erica Reitman, editor of neighborhood blog F’d in Park Slope, founded the exclusive group because of how rare it is to see a Brooklynite walking the hunting breed, which is known to be stubborn and not eager to obey commands, according to Geise.

“It’s not a breed you see a lot here in the city,” he said of the long-faced pups that grow to be between 50 and 65 pounds and have a keen sense of smell second only to bloodhounds. “It’s more of a country dog, so when you see them you get even more excited.”

The pooches’ owners were not the only ones who were stoked to see their canine cohort. The odd-looking Fidos had a blast sniffing and socializing with their fellow hounds during the two-hour gathering, attendees said.

“It was fantastic,” said Fort Greene resident Pippa Mayell, who attended the event with her five-month-old pup Sadie for the first time.

“She just loved it,” Mayell said of her baby pup.

Sadie was the youngest at the party, but that did not keep her from making fast friends.

“She’s super social and just wants to say hi to every dog on the street.”

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.

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