My Therapy Dog Ricochet Surfs With People With Disabilities, Helping Them Heal
When my dog, Ricochet was born, I wanted her to be a service dog for a person with a disability. But, one day on the beach, she jumped on a surfboard with 14-year-old Patrick Ivison who is quadriplegic. I guess she thought I said SURFice dog®!
Despite my expectations, this smart dog stayed true to herself. Once I listened to her, she was helping people in ways I never imagined possible. For the last six years she’s been surfing with people with disabilities, kids with special needs, wounded warriors, and veterans with mental health problems as an assistive aid and intuitive muse.
And, because I nurtured this adorable dog’s natural tendencies, she has developed an extraordinarily powerful ability to make immediate, deep, heart-to-heart connections with the individuals she interacts with. She intuitively and empathically alerts to their emotional and physical changes which allow for profound paws-on healing interventions. She’s a truly wonderful therapy dog.
As a result, she balances boards… and balances lives!
Ricochet was 15 months old when she jumped on the surfboard with Patrick. It was that day she went from service dog to SURFice dog
Jill lost her leg to cancer, but that doesn’t stop her from being active! She uses Ricochet’s back as stabilizer to stand up. Once she’s up, she can let go!
Gina has autism, her self confidence has soared since surfing with Ricochet. She now owns her own surfboard!
A child with autism may never see the world the same as someone who doesn’t have it. Ricochet has no expectation for them to come into our world… instead, she goes into theirs
Ricochet instantly connects with people on a deep heart-to-heart level, providing healing both in and out of the water
Sabine posted on Ricochet’s facebook page asking if a woman without arms could surf. I guess you can tell how Ricochet responded!
The more she connects with people, the stronger her gift becomes
Caleb saw Ricochet surfing with kids on ESPN. When Make-A-Wish asked what he wished for, he said to surf with Ricochet. Sadly, six weeks later Caleb lost his battle with brain cancer. But not before he touched all our lives.
Ricochet is an Ambassador for Life Rolls On, an organization that empowers young people affected by spinal cord injury to enjoy the freedom and mobility of surfing
Jake has Ataxia Telangiectasia, a rare, neurodegenerative disease that causes disability. As his smile shows, that doesn’t stop him from hanging 10 with Ricochet
Ricochet has been surfing with wounded warriors and veterans with PTSD for the last four years. She intuitively alerts to their anxiety, and then helps to calm them
These two boys named Jacob both need a heart transplant. Ricochet held a fundraiser to bring the boys together to surf with her & raise awareness about organ donation
Ricochet has an incredible sense of empathy and often mirrors the military service members with PTSD, alerting to their anxiety, pain and other symptoms. As such, she can help people go inward to find a place of peace while, at the same time, moving outward through their greatest fears.
West’s autism used to make him afraid of the water, and afraid of dogs. Now he not only surfs with Ricochet, but often helps in the water when other kids surf with her
Ian used to surf with his daddy. But his parents were killed in a car accident in which Ian also suffered a brain injury. He was afraid to go back in the water. That was, until he heard he could surf with Ricochet
Ricochet is able to instantly bond with strangers, often alerting to their emotional or physical changes
Ricochet is like a mirror to the people with whom she interacts, reflecting back their feelings with a sense of confidence
She’s the most sensitive to military with PTSD and children with autism
Ricochet is able to prevent panic attacks, melt downs and other anxiety provoking behavior
Ricochet is also a hero dog and therapy dog who lives a lifestyle of helping others by ‘pawing it forward’ while raising awareness & funds for human/animal causes… almost $400,000 so far
She is an advocate for staying true to yourself, anti-bullying and individuality
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