Sunday, July 13, 2008


We made it to slobberfest, finally!!! It was such a great day! I attached the write up from the Erie Times, and all though the paper said "over 100" Basset Hounds attended, it was more like 200! Oh yeah, Honey Dew and I made the article although they got the town wrong it was neat to be included! Enjoy!

Slobberfest celebrates all things basset hound

BY KARA RHODES [more details]

Published: July 13. 2008 6:00AM

Franny, the basset hound of Erik and Courtney Bishop of Batavia, New York, attends the Slobberfest in costume on July 12 in Wattsburg. The event raises funds to find homes for abused dogs. (Jack Hanrahan / Erie Times-News)

WATTSBURG --More than 100 saliva-challenged basset hounds came together for the ninth annual Slobberfest at a farm outside Wattsburg on Saturday.

The droopy-eared dogs competed in events like the basset dash, the silly agility challenge and the best hat contest.

But their tails wagged most furiously when food entered their immediate vicinity.

Preston, Rachelle DeCourcey's dog, was snoozing in the shade after the trip to Slobberfest from Tonawanda, N.Y. He was up like a flash, though, pulling his leash tight when a boy carrying two hot dogs walked by.

He ignored DeCourcey's pleas to return to her blanket.

Courtney Bishop, who brought her basset, Franny, to Slobberfest from Batavia, N.Y., said Preston exhibited two characteristics common in basset hounds.

"I love their stubbornness," she said. "I share that trait with them. And they're food-driven -- which is another thing I have in common with them."

Bred for hunting rabbits, basset hounds can be athletic, if a bit clumsy.

Franny sometimes trips over her long ears, Bishop said.

But it's doubtful Franny could have beat Elvira, Robin Hall's pooch. Elvira's ear span measured an impressive 25 inches in the Slobberfest ear-measuring contest.

The dogs are also smart, boasted Tina Switzer, of Lake City.

Her basset, Honeydew, stands at the door, as if to be let outside. When her husband leaves his recliner to open the door, Honeydew circles around and hops up in his chair.

"You just have to understand what motivates them," Switzer said.

Judy Helfferich has been organizing Slobberfest at her farm since its inception in 1999. She said while the day brings together dogs and their owners, its purpose is to find homes for unwanted basset hounds and raise money for Droopy Basset Hound Rescue. The organization, of which she is president, has 12 of the dogs up for adoption now.

"These dogs are so lovable," she said. "Even when they're bad, your first reaction is to get a camera."

KARA RHODES can be reached at 870-1858 or by e-mail.

Want to adopt a basset hound? Find out how at