Surf dog helps disabled people catch waves
Aug 23, 2011
Ricochet, a 3-year-old golden retriever, was trained as a puppy to be a service dog. However, her mischievous streak had her chasing after birds, making her an inappropriate companion for someone who needs constant guidance. Now, Ricochet has found her niche in surfing, helping disabled surfers catch waves as a form of therapy, ABC News reports.
Owner Judy Fridono wanted to raise the pooch to help people, and found that surfing was her thing. The dog got comfortable with a boogie board in a pool at 8 weeks old, and now rides surf boards across the waves near San Diego, California.
"I wanted her to make a difference in one life as a service dog and she's touched millions and millions," Fridono told the news source.
Surfers who ride with Ricochet - including paraplegics, those missing legs and arms to injury, and more - say that the dog adjusts her balance depending on the disability the person she is riding with has.
She has raised more than $100,000 for charities through her Facebook page and is a finalist for the Hero Dog Award from the American Humane Association. According to the organization's website, more than 300,000 canines have been nominated for the award, which raises money for the organization.