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Inspirational Surfing Therapy Dog Hits The Waves One Last Time

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on August 23, 2022

“Surf Dog Ricochet” is a famous Golden Retriever known for serving as a therapy dog and helping people with disabilities surf. She’s great at what she does, but as she gets older and faces health struggles, surfing gets harder. So, her human has decided that a recent adventure will likely be Ricochet’s last time riding the waves.

However, Ricochet won’t let her final surfing adventure be forgotten. As always, she made the event unforgettable for everyone that attended. Even though her surfing days are coming to an end, she’ll continue to inspire fans for years to come.

Service dog Ricochet

Surfing for a Good Cause

Ricochet has been training to assist others since she was only eight weeks old. She learned some service dog tasks, along with how to balance on a boogie board. Then, in 2009, she completed her first wave with a person in need. She helped balance the surfboard while a 14-year-old boy with a spinal cord injury enjoyed the waves.

The experience was so rewarding that Ricochet began assisting more people on surfboards. Soon, the trained therapy dog became known as “Surf Dog Ricochet.” Now, Ricochet is 14 years old, and she has been surfing for 13 years of her life.

First wave vs. last wave

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“She’s getting a lot older now, so unfortunately she has not been wanting to surf a lot more like she used to,” said Jose Martinez, who she took her final ride with.

Not only is Ricochet aging, but she also has kidney cancer and arthritis. Her family doesn’t know many details yet, but they suspect she won’t want to be surfing much longer. So, they celebrated her most recent surf as her last one just in case she doesn’t get better.

Friend helps Ricochet ride last wave

Ricochet’s Final Ride

Purple Heart recipient Jose Martinez lost one arm and both his legs after he stepped on a bomb in Afghanistan. Back in 2014, he began surfing to help him recover, and Ricochet accompanied him on the waves when he was still getting used to it. Now, Martinez is proud to give back by helping Ricochet ride the waves after all she did for him.

“I thought Ricochet might catch a wave or two, but she kept going. She was so happy. It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful surfing story,” said Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s human. “It’s like her story came full circle. She helped so many others catch waves all these years, and when she needed help, who better than Jose.”

Splashes on Ricochet's last wave

RELATED: Black Lab Stuns Spectators As He Catches A Wave And Surfs To Shore

The elderly dog looks overjoyed in all the photos and videos from her final ride. There were several moments where her expression mirrored Martinez’s.

Surfing isn’t as easy for Ricochet as it used to be, and it’s likely that she won’t be strong enough to keep doing it. So, no matter what happens, it’s heartwarming to see that she got at least one final surfing celebration to lift her spirits and delight her many fans.

Watch Ricochet’s Last Wave:

Featured Image: Instagram

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