Meet Ricochet, the surf dogs that helps dozens of children with disabilities to enjoy the waves and proves that anything is possible with a good friend by your side.
Surf Dog Ricochet and kids with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) caught waves last week during the 4th annual “Surf Away SMA With Ricochet” event. SMA is a disease that robs individuals of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to hold their head up, stand, sit, crawl, walk, swallow food effectively, or breathe. The diagnosis comes with words no parent ever wants to hear…”No treatment, no cure.”
Some kids have a tracheostomy, a surgically created opening into the trachea that provides breathing assistance via a permanent ventilator. Bailey has Type I SMA—the most severe and the most common.
Other kids have type II SMA. these kids can typically sit up without help, though they may need assistance getting into a seated position, but they are unable to walk and will require a wheelchair.
Although these kids have difficulty performing the basic functions of life, SMA does not affect their ability to think, learn, have hopes and dreams or… surf with a dog!
Ricochet takes her job very seriously. She checks in with the kids to make sure they’re ok and with the assistance team to make sure everything is prepared before she starts surfing. Although looking like a fun day, the event requires massive amount of preparation to make sure all kids are safe and attached to the board depending on their health condition.
Ricochet is a part of non-profit organization, Puppy Prodigies located in San Diego, US. She’s a trained service dog for individuals with disabilities. The organisation has been offering canine-assisted programs since 2006.
And if the cute photos were not enough, here’s a video from last year to learn more about the surf dog Ricochete.