Inspirational Therapy Dog Surfs with People with Disabilities to Provide Healing and Hope
Meet Surf Dog Ricochet, a 7-year-old pup with a heart of gold and the amazing ability to help heal and inspire people with disabilities through the power of surfing. Born in January 2008, the golden retriever was originally trained as a service dog, and quickly gained the reputation of a “puppy prodigy” as she learned how to navigate difficult tasks like opening doors, switching lights on and off, and unzipping clothing. As she grew older, however, it soon became clear that Ricochet’s boundless energy and love of chasing birds made her a little too spirited to be a service animal. Luckily, her owner was able to find Ricochet a purpose in life that makes her truly happy—surfing!
Now, Ricochet has found her true calling as a “SURFice dog” who rides the waves with special-needs children and people with disabilities as an assistive aid and intuitive muse. She instinctively offers warmth, balance, and support for individuals venturing out on a surfboard for the first time, giving them memorable experiences that will hopefully inspire them to keep living the best life. Not only has she provided infinite love and encouragement for the people around her, but Ricochet has also managed to raise nearly $400,000 for charitable causes through her surfing activities.
“What makes Ricochet extraordinary is her powerful ability to make immediate, deep, heart-to-heart connections with the individuals she interacts with,” Ricochet’s human, Judy Fridono, wrote to us in an email. “She intuitively and empathically alerts to their emotional and physical needs, which allows for profound paws-on healing interventions.” These special qualities of hers have earned Ricochet well-deserved recognition and praise, including the AKC Award for Canine Excellence, the American Humane Association Hero Dog Award, and Dog of the Year from the ASPCA.
The remarkable story of this inspirational therapy dog/surfing champ/endless beam of sunshine is documented inRicochet: Riding a Wave of Hope with the Dog Who Inspires Millions, a heartwarming “pawtobiography” available on Amazon.