Bowie & Friends

Barry & Koko – Partners in Crime

I’ve known Barry for over 13 years and Koko since a pup. I still remember when Barry picked up Koko and brought him to a family Christmas lunch. He was a shy yet curious pup. He’s grown and slowed down a lot since then but he’s still the same friendly and happy Koko.

Bowie met Koko for the first time when we took him to Yarrawonga. I had to give credit to Koko for having to put up with Bowie being such an ass. Overall I think they were having a great time chasing one another and swimming in the river.

I asked Barry to share his escapades with Koko and here are his stories.

What’s Koko’s breed?

Labradore/Kelpie x

How old is Koko?

He just turned 11 last November

Have you always had dogs?

Yes. I’ve had dogs since 1963. I just like dogs and it had been a positive experience for our children to grow up around dogs. Koko is our 6th dog.

What’s your daily routine with Koko?

Two kilometres morning walk (it keeps us fit), one meal of the day at 5.30pm and another two kilometres walk in the evening (it’s good for digestion). When it’s hot, Koko normally goes for a swim in the river.

How do you bond with Koko?

We exercise and walk together. Koko is with me most of the time I’m working around my little farm or in the workshop.

Is Koko trained?

Not in a formal sense. But he’s trained not to chase cattle unless ordered.

What’s Koko’s favourite toy/treat?


What’s Koko’s favourite thing to do?

Eat and go for walks

How do you describe Koko’s personality in 3 words?

Friendly. Territorial. Happy.

Any quirky habits Koko has that annoy/amuse/baffle you?

Ever since a pup he gets excited and attacks the shovel whenever I dig a hole.

Do you have any stories you can share?

About 5 years ago I got a new tractor with a front end loader. I was levelling some ground with it when Koko attacked it (I guess he thought it was a big shovel). He came off second best, yelped and headed off home unhurt except for his dignity. Ever since that day if I use that tractor or even go near it, he will go and stay in the shed until I get away from the tractor. This can be any time from 5 minutes up to 6 hours. He never misses, no exception.

He also hates car travel. When we collected him as a pup, he threw up all over Ben, my grandson, on our way home. Ever since then he will not willingly get in a car, trailer or back of a ute. It’s a fight every time we go to the vet.

Koko and I spend a lot of time together in the shed and birds often fly in through the open doorway. Koko would run around chasing them and barking. I would yell or growl at him but be ignored. One day in desperation I got Joy, my school teacher wife, to help. She growled at him in her loud cross school teacher voice and low and behold he stopped barking and hasn’t to this day.

Who’s Koko’s master?

I guess I am. He’s not allowed inside the house and he doesn’t want to. However he is master of all else.

How’s your life having dogs (in particular Koko)?

It’s hard to remember life without a dog. Koko certainly adds pleasure and fulfilment to mine.

Any words of wisdom for other dog owners or ‘to-be’ dog owners out there?

Raising dogs and children are the same. You must strike the correct balance of love and discipline.