Echo Locates the Perfect Family

Josephine TempongkoAdopt, Dogs, Uncategorized19 Comments

Echo the Blind Dog

Photo Credit: Robert Most

Echo is a white dog with pointed ears and very wolf-like features around his face. At first glance, he appears cross eyed or as if one eye is bigger than the other. A special boy, he was born with abnormally formed eyes and is mostly blind, with limited vision in one eye.

Echo when he first arrived at HSSV

Echo was transferred into HSSV from a local partner shelter to receive medical treatment for congenital hip issue. After surgery to repair his hip joint, he was made available for adoption. An energetic husky mix with special needs, Echo would need an understanding family that would be able to adapt to his quirks and appreciate him for the unique dog that he is.

Echo with his family

Photo Credit: Robert Most

When Alexia and her family came to visit HSSV, they were dead set on adopting a female dog – but when they saw Echo at the shelter, they just had to meet him. “My children loved him, and even my grandmother did,” Alexia wrote. “When it was time to meet the other dog on our list, Echo moved behind my son’s stroller. We like to say Echo chose us when he refused to leave my son’s side.”

Alexia and her family adopted Echo that day. His special bond with Alexia’s son seemed to grow instantly – and took on a new light when something startling was discovered about the young boy.

“When we brought Echo home, he bonded instantly with my son – wherever Nyctalus went, Echo would go. We noticed almost immediately Echo would gently nip my son’s shoulders and at the back of his shirt – a behavior often shown by Epilepsy Service Dogs.” It turns out, Nyctalus was having seizures – which were noticed by Alexia’s mother and diagnosed shortly thereafter.

Echo is a working dog breed, and though he is blind and deaf, he took to training easily and enthusiastically – and now he is learning a new job with his new family. “We are in the process of getting Echo certified as a Service Dog for my son,” Alexia writes. “Due to his blindness and partial deafness, he is being trained entirely by touch cues (one long stroke from top of nose down the muzzle to his head between the ears is ‘sit’). We found out very quickly he prefers freeze dried treats or ‘raw’ meat treats.”

Echo with his Family

Photo Credit: Robert Most

Though Echo now has the very important job of alerting his family when Nyctalus has seizures, he still has plenty of time to run, play, lounge and be a dog in the loving arms of his new family.

“Echo is always full of new wonderful quirks and his favorite thing is chasing the ball and learning new skills,” says Alexia. “He’s very playful and seems to love playing with our cat and the neighborhood dogs. He loves going for runs with me early in the morning and likes to play with the wild bunnies. Sometimes, he howls and ‘play talks’ before rough housing with us or other dogs.”

Echo on a Green Chair

Photo Credit: Robert Most

“His favorite space in the house is a green lawn chair outside. Whenever I work at my desk Echo finds a space under my legs and ‘nibbles’ on my ankles. It’s very entertaining! Despite being blind and partially deaf, Echo still loves to run, cuddle, chew up his toys and play catch. He is an amazing agility course runner (we have a mini one set up). We love him so much.”

Supporters like you make it possible to treat, rehabilitate and rehome special animals just like Echo. If you loved his story, make a gift today in his honor – you could be saving the next Dog Hero!

19 Comments on “Echo Locates the Perfect Family”

  1. This is an amazing story of an amazing family, who found an amazing dog!! Kudos to HSSV and Alexia and her family!

    1. Hi I’m in a bit of a blind I have landlord that is putting me out and have a dog that just had puppies I don’t know what to do could you give me some other ways to get her houseing

  2. What s Wonderful family. Echo is a very lucky dog. Wish them all the best in the years to come. 🥰

  3. Both, Echo and his new family are very lucky to have found each other. Not only he’s blessed with super sensing powers but he’s got a terrific handsome look too!

  4. What a miraculous bonding for Echo and his new family. It is wonderful to realize that even a dog with disabilities can still have surprising gifts and abilities that may prove to be invaluable to his people.

  5. Wow, What a heart warming story on how tru happiness for Echo and the family. Everyone hear wins and im touched the family took the chance on Echo and they have been given a God gift.

  6. Update on Echo! I’m Alexis’ mother. I brought Echo up to my house in South Tahoe. (Just below Echo Summit, no less!) I am in process of getting him trained before Alexis & the children move to Alaska this spring. It turns out Echo is not deaf, just selective hearing. (He can hear the refrigerator open when he’s sleeping in the back room!) He LOVES the snow, even though it throws off his depth perception even more & makes it hard for him to see logs & boulders. He’s getting better at it, though! We are also using “clapping” signals when he is off leash in the meadow. (One clap for slow down; 2 for stop; and 3 for come here.) He is responding exceptionally well! He is an amazingly smart dog. I had a”talk” with him one morning, when he had an accident during the night. I looked him in the eyes & explained that it was not OK to do that. If he needs to go out, come wake me up. Sure enough, the next night, I awoke to a cold, wet nose on my face & him “talking” quietly in my ear! It will be very hard to see them go to Alaska, but he never lets me forget that he really is Nyctalus’ dog, when he hears him on the phone!

    1. One thing I forgot to mention. According to the vet up here, there is no question that he is White Swiss Shepherd, not Husky. (WSS are NOT the same as white Germans, they are their own distinct breed.) Very likely has some wolf mixed in, as well.
      His demeanor, tolerance, and all around chill nature is 100% in line with WSS. Also quite likely he is much younger than previously assumed. He has continued to grow in the month that we have had him up here and his appetite shows no sign of slowing.
      Today he passed the (off-leash) “return” while playing with another dog! He’s still working on wiping his feet before coming into thee house. That one might take some time, though. 😉

      1. Thanks SO much for the update, Adrienne – and for taking such good care of Echo! Please continue to keep us updated, we love to hear about him!

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