Photo: Surf Dog Ricochet & Aqua Dog Cori/Facebook

Ricochet, the Surfing Therapy Dog, Is the Canine Ambassador for Surfers With Disabilities

by Eben Diskin Aug 16, 2018

It’s been 10 years since Ricochet the surf dog first spontaneously hopped on a surfboard with Patrick Ivison, a quadriplegic teen, sparking a video that went viral. Since then, Ricochet has surfed with hundreds of special needs kids, people with disabilities, and wounded veterans, helping to balance their boards and raising over $500,000 for various human and animal causes. Now, to commemorate that first, famous surf session, Ivison and Ricochet are reuniting to catch some waves together at La Jolla Shores in San Diego on Sunday, August 19th at 10:00 AM.

“I will remember that day at the beach forever,” Patrick said in a press release. “Ricochet and I caught a few waves side by side, and then she decided she wanted to ride with me. When she hopped on my back it was a magical experience. We were in sync and could keep the board stable by helping each other. It was crazy and amazing.” After the initial ride, Ricochet held a fundraiser that gave Patrick enough money for intensive physical therapy, resulting in his increased independence and mobility.

Since that first ride, Ricochet has assisted several individuals with physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities not just with surfing, but other athletic endeavors, too. For her efforts, she was named the ASPCA Dog of the Year, receiving the prestigious Humane Association Hero Dog Award and the AKC Award for Canine Excellence.

In addition to the reunion ride, Ricochet is hosting a social media contest whose winner will receive $250, as a way of thanking everyone who helped support her and Ivison through the years. To enter the sweepstakes, check out the official website.

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