When it comes to achieving success despite a physical disability, Stevie The Wonder Dog lives up to his name.

And the way he rhythmically moves his head to follow sound resembles his namesake.

Stevie, a 3-year-old, 85-pound Bernese mountain dog, was born blind.

On Friday, Stevie -- his registered name is Jamar's Sign'd Seal'd Deliver'd I'm Yours -- placed eighth among 20 dogs during the All Star Obedience, Agility and Rally Championships' novice rally competition at the York Expo Center.

"We're just so thrilled that he's doing so well . . . The judges don't know he's blind. He's not getting any preference because he's blind," said his handler, Jill Greff of Ridgefield Park, N.J. She co-owns the dog with her partner, Bronn Dennery.

Shetland sheepdog Harry jumps through the last obstacle with owner Katie Errigo close behind Friday during the All Star Obedience, Agility and Rally
Shetland sheepdog Harry jumps through the last obstacle with owner Katie Errigo close behind Friday during the All Star Obedience, Agility and Rally Championships at the York Expo Center.
(Daily Record/Sunday News - Kate Penn)
The couple trained Stevie by appealing to his other senses and rewarding him with goodies such as cheese.

"He hears me. He smells really well . . . He's just the sweetest dog," Greff said of Stevie, who also has his own YouTube video. "We do some things by touch."

She said he's just an exceptional dog.

"I got him because he was blind," Greff said. She said he was born sightless because his optic nerves never developed. "I do a lot of rescue, and he needed a home."

Stevie will compete again today in the All Star event. His competition at the event was tough, Sara Steele said. She participated with her 11-year-old Staffordshire Terrier, Phoebe, a dog she rescued from the middle of a highway a few years back. Steele has also judged dog competitions.

"The top people are here," she said of the competitors.

Linda Brennan, president and trial secretary for northern New Jersey-based All Star Performance Dog Association, which hosted the event, said about 250 dogs are participating in the competition.

This is the third time the event has been held in York, she said.

New this year is real grass -- which replaced a special carpet made of synthetic fibers -- for the agility competition, Brennan said.

Ty, a 3-year-old border collie, jumps into Ann Marie Scripko’s arms after finishing the agility course Friday during the All Star Obedience, Agility
Ty, a 3-year-old border collie, jumps into Ann Marie Scripko's arms after finishing the agility course Friday during the All Star Obedience, Agility and Rally Championships at the York Expo Center.
(Daily Record/Sunday News - Kate Penn)

"It gives them better traction," she said. "It's a little safer for the dog."