Ricochet started life in service dog school. According to her owner, Judy Fridono, Ricochet was a puppy prodigy, learning how to open refrigerator doors, unzip jackets, and turn on lights—in short, everything a service dog should do. The problem began when her trainers noticed that her love of chasing birds combined with her boundless energy made her a risky service dog prospect. They just couldn’t control Ricochet, especially around the water.
But all hope was not lost—Ricochet’s trainers soon learned that she excelled at a very specific skill. She had amazing balance, and, combined with her love of the water, soon became an accomplished surfer.
Fridono decided that just because Ricochet couldn’t be a service dog, doesn’t mean she couldn’t help in her own way. So Ricochet the Surfice Dog was born.
Since 2009, Ricochet has been surfing with her human friends to raise money for their care and the charities that research their diseases. Her first buddy was Patrick Ivison, a quadriplegic surfer. They were meant to surf side by side, but when Ricochet jumped on Patrick’s board to steady him, Fridono knew they had found Ricochet’s special purpose in life.
These days, Ricochet is busy surfing with her friends, which include autistic and paraplegic children and teens and retired servicemen suffering from PTSD, helping them get out and stay steady, safe and secure on the water. Since 2009, the press and outreach has helped Ricochet raise over $300,000 dollars for over 150 different causes. Not bad for a service dog dropout!
Ricochet’s a pup with a busy schedule full of doing what she loves for a great cause. If you’d like to support Ricochet and her owners in their efforts, go here. If you’d like to purchase Judy Fridono’s new book, Ricochet: Riding a Wave of Hope with the Dog who Inspires Millions, go here. If you’d like to see their wonderful feature on ESPN’s Sportscenter (Tissue warning!) go below.
Featured Image via The Digital Journal.