YOUR HEALTH: Ricochet’s story; The surfing therapy dog
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - There are approximately a half a million service dogs in the United States helping people overcome challenges in their day to day lives. They come in all shapes and sizes and do everything from alerting a diabetic when their blood sugar is low, helping people in wheelchairs navigate the world, to easing the pain of mental illness. But there is only one dog that does what Ricochet does. This golden does something so unique that you have to see it for yourself.
“I’m Judy Fridona and this is my dog, Ricochet.”
At just eight weeks old, Fridono knew her puppy was something special.
Ricochet could surf, but that’s not all.
Fridona states, “At one point, Ricochet jumped off her board and onto Patrick’s. So, it was really her decision to do that.”
The video of that ride went viral. More than 6.5 million people watched Ricochet help the young quadriplegic ride the waves. She followed that with a ride with Ian.
Fridona says, “He was about five or six and he was in a tragic accident with his parents in a car crash. His parents were killed and he ended up with a brain injury.”
There are others Ricochet has helped … Jose Martinez stepped on an IED while serving in Afghanistan … the two often share a board.
Martinez states, “It changed my perspective and I just kept going and now I’m training to compete to make the USA team.”
West is autistic. He was afraid of water and animals.
“The first wave that they caught, west stood up and grabbed ahold of her and was just so happy and safe.” Says Lauren, West’s Mom.
Ricochet was the first certified therapy dog that also does adaptive surfing, a combination that Judy believes heals the soul.
Fridona says, “The ocean is very healing which has already been proven and the healing power of a dog. So, it’s just really a very powerful combination.”
Martinez says, “She even came up to me and actually touched my forehead with her forehead. It was pretty awesome, right before we caught the wave.”
Connecting with those who need it the most on land and in the sea.
Fridona says, “There’s always a sense of awe when Ricochet’s surfing with someone.”
Ricochet doesn’t just connect in the water, she also works with service members on shore who have PTSD. Ricochet is 14 years old. She has raised more than a million dollars for people with disabilities through her non-profit puppy prodigies. Through the charity, Judy raises and trains service dogs, emotional support dogs and therapy dogs for people with disabilities.
Click here to report a typo.
Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.