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Ricochet, the Surfing Miracle

Ricochet, the 2011 ASPCA Dog of the Year

Ricochet was originally selected to be a service animal. The Golden Retriever was unable to complete her training because of her undying love for chasing birds and squirrels. Not wanting to place her with someone with a disability, Ricochet's guardian, Judy Fridono, soon discovered that her lovable pet had a talent for patience, balance, and coordination. That's when she decided to try to see if the Golden would be suited for a life riding the waves.

Now Ricochet is a "SURFice" dog for disabled surfers. The canine uses Surfin' for Paws-abilities to act as a canine co-pilot for numerous adults and kids while raising money for those in need. Six-year-old Ian McFarland suffered traumatic brain injury in a fatal auto accident that killed his parents. With his new surfing partner Ricochet, he now has a great enthusiasm for riding waves. Judy and Ricochet have helped raise more than $7500 to help with Ian's rehabilitation and have enjoyed watching his confidence soar.

Although little Finnley was born with brain damage and not expected to live, she slowly fought to survive. Now 2 years old, the little girl, who also suffers from cerebral palsy, seizures and vision impairment, loves classical music and loves being in the water. Swimming is therapeutic for her and her parents want to purchase their own pool so that she can receive the 4-6 hours of needed therapy each day. Ricochet bonded with the little girl and helped raise the more than $10,000 for her new therapy pool.

With over 11,000 friends on Facebook and over 2.5 million hits on her YouTube video, Ricochet is known all over the world. She was a finalist in the Hero Dog Awards sponsored by the American Humane Association and placed third in the annual Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Surf competition. The canine was named the 2011 ASPCA Dog of the Year and has raised more than $125,000 for more than 150 human and animal causes.