A surfing dog recovering with cancer has raised over $1 million for human and animal causes.
Ricochet the Golden Retriever, from San Diego, is one of the most famous dogs in the canine surfing circuit, first showing promise on a boogie board when she was just eight weeks old.
She began fundraising through surfing at 15 months, becoming one of the first ever hounds to take part in the water-sport competitively and the first-ever canine assisted surf therapy dog.
As well as reaching her impressive milestone, the 14-year-old pooch has provided one million bowls of food to homeless animals and held 146 fundraisers benefitting 250 individuals and charities since 2009.
“The love and support Ricochet has received from her community of supporters over the years continually blows me away,” said Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s guardian.
“Every person that supports her is truly changing and saving the lives of so many. It shows us that every individual can truly have an impact.”
Ricochet’s first fundraiser was in 2009, with Fridono planning for the dog to ride side-by-side with a 15-year-old quadriplegic adaptive surfer named Patrick.
However after riding a couple of waves, the pooch jumped on Patrick’s board and decided to surf with him.
Ricochet works with children with special needs, people with disabilities, wounded military members and veterans with PTSD as a form of surf therapy, assistance, healing and empowerment.
The dog, who is currently recovering from cancer, has provided therapy to young people with the illness and in 2020 took part in the Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, seeking to determine risk factors that could contribute to the development of cancers common in the breed.
According to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, all breeds of dog are at risk of developing cancer, with hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, osteosarcoma and cancers of the mammary among the most common.
Research in 2018 published by the National Library of Medicine found the most common diagnosis found in Golden Retrievers dying of cancer was hemangiosarcoma followed by lymphoid neoplasia.
To show her appreciation for her supporters, Ricochet is hosting a “Thanks a Million” campaign where her followers can come away with one of over 65 gifts donated by companies and organizations across social media platforms.
Fridono urged Ricochet’s fans to continue the work the pooch has started to support various organizations and individuals.
“People believe in Ricochet’s mission… she’s not doing it alone,” said Fridono. “Her supporters are an extension of her legacy and her roots in philanthropy and helping others heal through canine intervention and therapy.
“After she’s no longer here, I don’t want people to be sad, I want them to celebrate and continue supporting what she started.”
Ricochet will be honored at the San Diego County Fair on June 8th as one of their Community Heroes in the Hall of Heroes Theme exhibit.
Next up for Ricochet is getting back to working with active-duty service members at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, improving people’s well-being and continuing her support of the human and animal causes she believes in.
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