Petersen - Ekko - West Hills, CA

The continuing saga of Ekko, a beloved rescued Berner.

At 7+ years old, Ekko has slowed slightly and is very lumpy, but his attitude continues to be all joy. At this ripe age, he has finally learned to play tug – a life long journey!!!! It does my heart good that the “fun police” dog can let loose and trust that nothing bad will happen. Trust can take a life time for rescues but it’s well worth the journey!

Before 2013, Ekko’s lingering personal space issues from pre-rescue days were a real road block to his acceptance of a cart. I am glad to report he is no longer afraid of it. He’s learned to maneuver the cart and accept the 20 lb weights. Ekko achieved his Novice Draft Dog title and on January 19, 2014 achieved his Advanced Novice Draft Dog title at the GCSBMDC draft test, Woo Hoo! I can even say that his working attitude in the cart progressed to the point of actually having a little fun at this last draft test. I promised he could retire from drafting – his space issues, poor conformation, and 2 knee surgeries put him at a disadvantage for brace or pulling more weight, so we are on to other activities. With the achievement of his NDD, he has now earned his BMDCA Working Dog award!

Ekko managed to achieve his Open Agility and Jumpers Preferred titles, but qualifying runs in excellent were nonexistent. He’s retired from agility trials now, but he still jumps with the little dogs in classes. He enjoys it very much, but secretly I think he just likes it for the social scene and the ability to run off and pee on trees (boys, sheesh :-) ). I’m finally over getting frustrated about it and let him do his thing in the safe fenced class environment. A guy’s gotta have some fun!

The 2013 BMDCA specialty saw Ekko entered again in the rescue gallery and strutting his stuff for the first time in the veteran’s parade! No joy in agility and a wonderful flunk in novice obedience for Mr. “I already have my CD”. He did achieve his Rally Advanced title and a pass in novice draft. Ekko came in dead last in the freight haul and was so slow that all present cheered for Ekko to make it. He loved that so much, he broke into a trot! I really enjoy the camaraderie amongst drafters – lots of support in this tough to learn sport.

As Ekko gets older I’ve decided to concentrate on open obedience training and rally. He’s making progress retrieving the dumbbell (hard for a non-toy-motivated dog) and we’re slowly learning how to make it fun enough for him to work without food and not so overwhelming that he wants to run off.

We love you Mr. SnortWiggle, buddy, Ekko-bunny, Wilbur, goofball.
How could we not?!?

Karen Petersen & Ekko CD RA OAP OJP CGC ANDD WD
Berner-Garde #74062, ILP157846, DNA #V610969
West Hills, CA