The Dog That Can Surf - and Inspire Kids With Disabilities

Ricochet isn’t your average dog.

Oct 2, 2015
Surf dog Ricochet surfs with boy

Ricochet surfs with 4-year old Logan who has SMA, inhibiting his ability to stand, sit or swallow (thedodo). 

Some dogs assist the blind, while others detect seizures before they happen, or alert the deaf when alarms sound. And some dogs help kids with disabilities surf.  

Meet Ricochet, the surf dog who is spreading awareness about disabilities, both on and off land. The seven-year old Golden Retriever was originally trained from birth to be a service dog, until she picked up the mischievous habit of chasing birds. Unable to continue in her original career, her owner, Judy Fridono, decided to try her luck on a surfboard instead.

Six years and over $300,000 raised for various charities later, Ricochet is still helping kids and adults with a range of disabilities from PTSD to SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) to autism.

Ricochet is able to sense the ability of her surfing partner and adjusts her balance and stance accordingly. For kids who are a little more nervous or apprehensive, Ricochet gains their trust on land by letting them pet her and lying at their side before taking them out to ride the surf.

On-land, Ricochet is an Internet sensation. She has over 248,000 fans on Facebook, 11,000 Twitter followers, and tons of viral YouTube videos with views in the millions. Though Ricochet’s popularity is certainly measurable online, there’s no telling how many thousands of lives this extraordinary pooch has touched.

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