Surf Dog Ricochet Changes Lives
This one-of-a-kind mentorship program matches veterans and kids for a day of paws-on healing through Ricochet’s canine-assisted surfing, paddling, playing and therapy.
By Judy Fridono
Ricochet traded her long board for a paddleboard as she took veterans with PTSD and kids with special needs from the battleground to the playground through her Waves of Empowerment program. This one-of-a-kind mentorship program matches combat veterans with PTSD and kids with special needs for a day of empowerment and paws-on healing. It also incorporates adults with disabilities who want to inspire and encourage kids through the challenges they've faced.
Each veteran or adult becomes a mentor, and is matched one-on-one with a child with special needs. The program focuses on canine-assisted surfing, paddling, playing and therapy. And, thanks to Body Glove who donated two inflatable stand-up paddle boards to the program, and to Redfin who sponsored the event, Ricochet is able help even more veterans and kids.
Activities are facilitated by Ricochet who is a registered therapy dog with Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a certified goal directed therapy dog with Paws’itive Teams, and holds the highest therapy dog title with the AKC. Ricochet helps reduce social anxiety as the veterans and children engage in activities that foster positive, interactive relationships.