Surf Dog Ricochet started off as your typical loving, rambunctious puppy. Judy, Ricochet’s human mom, had high hopes for her as a service dog. But like many other furry friends of her kind, Ricochet loved chasing birds and other critters far too much to be a service dog. At first, Judy was disappointed. But once she let go of who she wanted Ricochet to be and just let her “be,” Ricochet flourished. Ricochet found her true calling: surfing. Judy discovered that Ricochet had an uncanny ability to balance on a surfboard, and in no time, Ricochet was surfing. She didn’t become the type of service dog she set out to be, but rather a SURFice dog. Judy “reveled in knowing [Ricochet] is perfect just the way she is,” and realized that she and Ricochet could use these skills and Ricochet’s passion to help others.
Ricochet’s role as a SURFice dog began with Patrick, a 15 year old quadriplegic adaptive surfer. The two were supposed to surf side by side but plans changed when Ricochet actually jumped on to Patrick’s surfboard to join him. With the counterbalance that Ricochet provided, Patrick could now ride the wave much easier. Seeing Ricochet’s excitement and pure talent for surfing, it became apparent to Judy that this was what she was meant to do. Ricochet wouldn’t only offer moral support, but now provide help with the actual mechanics, too! Through her talents as an assistive aid, Ricochet now helps kids with special needs, people with disabilities, and wounded warriors to surf.
Judy helped Ricochet her find her calling, and in doing so, so much good has evolved. As the only known dog in the world to surf as an assistive aid, Ricochet has become an inspirational phenomenon, philanthropic role model, internet sensation, fundraising marvel, community advocate, goodwill ambassador, and muse to millions. Ricochet helps raise funds and awareness for human and animal causes. So far she has raised almost $300,000 and 1 million bowls of food. Ricochet has been recognized as an emerging hero after winning the American Humane Association Hero Dog Award.
She has become an inspiration to many for both her empowering surfing and for inspiring people to help dogs help people. Because of her, many other dogs have been provided with loving homes and given the opportunity to help other people, too.
Make sure to check out this month’s Dogvergnügen photo contest Love of Dog, Love of Country, Love of Summer which will be judged by Surf Dog Ricochet!