Quadriplegic boy reunites with dog that helped him 10 years ago

Ricochet and Patrick will be reuniting for a celebratory surf session at La Jolla Shores on Sunday, August 19.

                            Quadriplegic boy reunites with dog that helped him 10 years ago
(Source:Getty Images)

Surf Dog Ricochet will be reaching a milestone this week — celebrating 10 years since the day she jumped on a surfboard with 15-year-old Patrick Ivison, a quadriplegic teen.
Ricochet and Patrick will be reuniting for a celebratory surf session at La Jolla Shores on Sunday, August 19 at 10am. They’ll be catching waves to commemorate a decade of unmatched triumphs. Several supporters from around the country will finally get to meet Ricochet and Patrick, and best of all, they will get to remove a line item from their bucket list — Surf with Ricochet.

In addition, Ricochet is hosting a social media sweepstakes where a lucky winner will be $250 richer, and nine others will win additional prizes. “This sweepstakes is our way of high-fiving every one of our supporters who helped Ricochet and Patrick get to where they are today,” says Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s guardian. Enter here and click on the sweepstakes button.

Ricochet pioneered the concept of kids surfing with dogs as a form of assistance, healing, therapy and empowerment when, on August 20, 2009, she made an independent decision to jump on Ivison’s board.

Something like that had never happened before, and history was made. So was a video that went viral. It comes with a “Kleenex alert” warning and has more than 12 million views on Facebook and YouTube, and can be viewed below.

“I will remember that day at the beach forever,” says Patrick. “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. The fundraiser Ricochet held for me secured enough money to give me intense physical therapy through high school and the independence I gained in that time is incalculable.”

Patrick has since graduated from USC, lives and works in LA, has a girlfriend, an apartment, friends and the confidence and independence to live a full and “normal” life

“I can trace everything in my life back to surfing with Ricochet and that first fundraiser,” says Patrick. “I’ve loved watching other kids get involved, and I love seeing their faces as they surf with Ricochet. I know that she is changing their lives as much as she changed mine.”

Since that day in 2009, Ricochet has continually added to her global ruff’sume in size, scale, and depth of programs. She went from service dog to SURFice dog® while providing canine-assisted surfing and other activities to empower, enhance and improve the quality of life for individuals with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities.

She is a registered and certified goal-directed therapy dog, and holds the highest AKC title of Therapy Dog Distinguished. She was one of the original southern California surfing dogs that started on the competition circuit. She typically won first, second or third place until she stopped competing to focus exclusively on her canine-assisted surfing.

She has surfed with hundreds of kids with special needs, people with disabilities, wounded warriors and veterans with PTSD. She’s affiliated with scores of organizations, she’s raised more than half a million dollars for over 250 human and animal causes, published a book, was cast for an IMAX movie and much, much more. 

Ricochet’s efforts have resulted in her being named ASPCA Dog of the Year, receiving the American Humane Association Hero Dog Award and the prestigious AKC Award for Canine Excellence. She has also been inducted into two surf dog halls of fame, and the California Veterinary Medical Association’s animal hall of fame.

“For the past decade, Ricochet has balanced boards… and lives. She’s offered individuals something no one else could — her incredible gift of healing, no matter the person’s challenge, disability or angst,” said Fridono. “As I look ahead, I see her legacy as one that continues through every dog on this planet. I have learned an exponential amount about the healing power of dogs through Ricochet, and it’s my privilege to share it with other dog owners so they can unleash their dog’s healing power too.”

For more information, click here.

Note: Please contact Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679

Visit Ricochet’s website and follow her on social media @SurfDogRicochet