Ricochet or Rip Curl Riki as she is often called, is a two-year old golden retriever, who was raised to be a service dog, one that could be a lifelong companion to a disabled person. However, her penchant for chasing after birds and other small animals dashed those aspirations, which was a good thing, because it led to her new career as . . . . . . . A SURFice dog!
That means that instead of helping disabled people on dry land, the Del Mar, Califonria resident, assists them on the surfboard. Ricochet's SURFice career began accidently, after her owner Judi Fridono, discovered her extraordinary surfing talent.
When Ricochet snagged the third place in the Purina Dog surfing challenge following just a week's worth of training, Judi was struck with a bright idea - Why not combine the dog's surfing skills and her service dog training and use it to take disabled people surfing.
Ricochet's first surfer buddy was quadriplegic surfer, Patrick Ivison. While the initial plan was for the two of them to surf side-by-side on individual boards, Ricochet had other ideas. Halfway through, she abandoned her board, and climbed on to Patrick's for some tandem surfing - This turned out to be a great idea, since her presence not only helped reassure the surfer, but also, acted as a counter balance. Besides being Patrick's surfing buddy, she has also helped raise $10,000 USD for his treatment
Ricochet has also helped six-year old Ian McFarland, who was involved in a car accident in 2008, that killed both his parents and left him brain damaged. An avid surfer before the accident, he was too nervous to get into the water, until the golden retriever came along. If that's not enough, Ricochet has also helped raise over $40,000 USD for Ian's treatment and care!
In her spare time, Ricochet competes in dog surfing competitions and has won many awards, including the 2010 Lowes Surf Dog competition. To read about all the myriad achievements of this great canine, check out her website www.surfdogricochet.com.