World’s Only SURFice Dog Receives Gnarly New Ride

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A totally tubular therapy dog received a special gift as a thank-you for all the work she’s done to help children with disabilities and veterans with PTSD!

There are some pretty amazing dogs in this world, and that includes some of our favorites who like to surf! One unique dog named Ricochet is surfalicious, and is the world’s first and only adaptive therapy dog to assist those who surf as well!

Ricochet, or Ricki for short, initially started out as part of a puppy therapy program litter that was to be trained and developed as a service dog. Ricki’s mama, Judy Fridono, founded Puppy Prodigies, a non-profit that raises and trains service dogs to empower people with disabilities decided that Ricki wasn’t quite focused enough to be a service dog to children or vets. Still, she knew Ricki was special, and continued to figure out what her purpose was.

Related: Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Celebrates America’s Heroes

As that happened, turned out Ricochet liked to learn to surf, and Fridono thought maybe she could be an adaptive service dog. Boy, was she ever right about that! Ricki literally leapt onto the surf board of Patrick Iverson, a quadriplegic adaptive surfer. Ricki initially was to mirror Patrick on her own board while he surfed with his, and aid him as needed, but Ricki had different plans. She hopped onto his board, and never looked back! Fridono knew then that Ricki’s mission would be to help children with disabilities, as well as wounded warriors. Though she does help mitigate the effects of PTSD in military members as a certified therapy.service dog, she is famously known as a SURFice dog who raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for puppy and human causes.

Ricki has won countless awards for her talent and commitment to those she serves and surfs with, and recently, a collaboration of San Diego Honda dealers presented Ricki and her mama with a brand new, fully loaded 2017 Honda CR-V. Ricki was participating in one of her Waves of Empowerment surf sessions when the San Diego Honda Dealers presented her with the gift saying, that Fridono’s years of helping others had put over 240,000 miles on her 2001 CR-V, and they wanted to help support the great work that Ricki does with kids and the military.

Jennifer Ball, with the San Diego Honda Dealers, said that Ricki’s ability to make the connections she does with people is overwhelmingly astounding and all the dealers involved with the gift believed that Ricki and Mama Judy were the epitome of what San Diego was.

Related: Snoot to Snoot: Q&A with Surf Dog Turbo

The Dealers group also created a TV commercial and video for social media that will just make your heart melt into a puddle when you watch. Seeing what she does in her Waves of Empowerment program, which helps veterans with PTSD who are matched with kids who have special needs, honestly makes my heart burst with encouragement and connection. The fact that a little service dog who sort of had to figure her way out makes it all happen is inspiring and frankly, adorable.

Fridono says the car is a gift that will allow her to keep furthering Ricki’s SURFice Dog mission, and that it will help change the lives of many. You can find Ricki’s “Always Sunny Story,” online, and you’ll love following Rip Curl Ricki’s social media pages as you watch her hang 20!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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