Ricochet is a Golden Retriever with a humanitarian mission. Read on for more about her "pawsome" story below.
This Golden Retriever Is A Very Special Dog
Born in 2008 in San Diego and having failed dog therapy school as a puppy, Ricochet, like so many heroes, found her true calling elsewhere, when she discovered surfing. She was barely 8 weeks old when she climbed on a boogie board in a kiddie pool and was able to balance herself on her own. She has been surfing ever since. When she was 15 months old, she won third place in her very first surfing contest, the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Surf Dog Competition. Afterwards, she was paired with Patrick Ivison, a paralyzed teen who is also a talented surfer. They put on a show together in the summer of 2009 and raised enough money to pay for three years of physical therapy for Patrick. (See: Merel The Service Dog Helps Children Testify In Court.)
You Tube Soars Her To Fame
Her fame began with a You Tube video of her with Patrick that has garnered more than 12.5 million views. Today, this young quadriplegic can get around with the help of a walker and drives a car. Ricochet soon became a dog with a special moniker as the world's only known dog that surfs as an assistant to kids with special needs. To date, this sweet canine has surfed in more than 50 fund-raisers and has raised almost $450,000 for various animal and human causes. (See: Abigail The Pit Bull.)
A Dog With Titles and Responsibilities
Ricochet is the canine ambassador for surfers with disabilities and is known as a SURFice dog because she surfs as an assistant to kids who have special needs, people with disabilities, wounded warriors and veterans with PTSD. Raised and trained by Judy Fridono, Ricochet is part of her organization, Puppy Prodigies Neo-Natal and Early Learning Program, which trains dogs to become service animals for people in need. (See: Cashnip The Kitty. )
Ricochet is also involved in important research involving dog-human communication headed by Dr. Brian Hare, leading scientist, Associate Professor at Duke University and creator of Dognition.com. Ricochet appeared in the 2015 show hosted by Dr. Hare entitled: Is Your Dog A Genius? In this show, Dr. Hare explained the concept of canine recognition and how Ricochet uses empathy to communicate and respond to the needs of veterans tormented by PTSD. (See: Two Purple Hearts.)
Her accomplishments are many. She has appeared at many community events in the San Diego area and has served as the Grand Marshall of the Navy Woof Walk in both 2014 and 2015. She is a powerful advocate for anti-bullying and was featured on ABC for her ability to take commands from a synthesized voice on an iPad from autistic children.
Ricochet uses her popularity as a springboard for raising funds and awareness for important human and animal causes. Her awards for services rendered are far too numerous to mention in depth but so far, this single dog has made quite a difference for more than twenty charities and shows no sign of stopping.
Good job, Ricochet!
Keep up the good work!