Medical Moment: Meet the surfing therapy dog

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:39 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WNDU) - There are about 500,000 service dogs in the U.S. helping people overcome challenges in their day-to-day lives.

They come in all shapes and sizes and do everything from sensing low blood sugar to helping veterans heal from post-traumatic stress.

But there is only one dog that does what Ricochet does! The golden does something so unique you have to see it for yourself!

At just 8 weeks old, Judy Fridono knew her puppy was something special.

Ricochet could surf but that’s not all.

“At one point, Ricochet jumped off her board and onto Patrick’s,” Fridono said. “So, it was really her decision to do that.”

The video of that ride went viral. More than 6,500,000 people watched Ricochet help the young quadriplegic ride the waves. She followed that with a ride with Ian.

“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.

“It changed my perspective and I just kept going and now I’m training to compete to make the USA team,” Martinez said.

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,” Lauren West’s mom said.

Ricochet was the first certified therapy dog that also does adaptive surfing, a combination that Judy believes heals the soul.

“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,” Fridono said.

“She even came up to me and actually touched my forehead with her forehead. It was pretty awesome, right before we caught the wave,” Martinez recalled.

Connecting with those who need it most on land and in the sea.

“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 post-traumatic stress!

Her talents don’t end there.

She’s helped raise more than $1,000,000 for people with disabilities.

Pretty good for a dog!