~ Judy and Ricochet ~
In 2008, Ricochet took her first breath in Judy’s hands. Since then, they have formed an incredible bond and have made a difference in the lives of millions.
Fifteen years ago, Judy was helping to deliver a litter of ten Golden Retriever pups from a dog named Josie. She had planned to keep a female puppy, but most of them were boys. Right before As Josie gave birth to the ninth pup of the litter, Judy looked at Josie and said, “Make the next one a girl with a tuft of white fur on her chest.” The ninth puppy turned out to be just that! Judy knew it was meant to be and named her Ricochet.
Initially, Ricochet was meant to be a mobility service dog for a person with a disability. She was great but when she was 16 weeks old, she didn’t want to train anymore. She also had a high prey chase drive which would be dangerous for a handler with a physical disability.
At 15 months old, Ricochet was released from the service dog role. One day at the
beach, Ricochet made an independent decision to jump onto the board of a 14-year-old
boy with a spinal cord injury. He was an adaptive surfer and Ricochet kept him from falling off the board. She became the first-ever canine-assisted surf therapy dog that same day in 2009.
Ricochet is also a certified therapy dog. She helps many people. From soldiers struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to children with disabilities, Ricochet is an extremely intuitive dog and makes deep soul-to-soul connections with the individuals she works with.
Every time Ricochet helps someone or is asked to be part of an event or something else, Judy learns just how powerful a healer she is. Knowing that her canine companion is changing and saving the lives of many people from all walks of life teaches her more about the healing power of all dogs. As well as helping others, Ricochet is quite a talented surfer and enjoys surfing with children with disabilities as well as adaptive surfers and is a sponsor and supporter of the USA Para Surfing Team, a triple amputee veteran and AmpSurf.
Through the amazing work she does, Ricochet has had many media appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey Network, People Magazine, The Today Show and many, many more. Recently, she has even had a starring role in an IMAX film titled ‘Superpower Dogs’ which is now playing in cinemas and has published a book called ‘Ricochet: Riding a Wave of Hope with the Dog Who Inspires Millions’. On top of all this, she has also received many awards, from the ‘American Humane Society Hero Dog’ award, to the ‘American Red Cross Hero’ award and many others!
Not a day goes by that Ricochet doesn’t impact someone’s life. If anyone is feeling anxious or experiences a trigger, she always senses this and will ensure it’s communicated to Judy so the individual can be helped on a soul level. Sadly, she has some health problems at the moment, but she still enjoys helping and supporting others. Millions of people have been touched by Ricochet’s healing loving nature, both in person and online.
As well as all this, Ricochet is part of the non-profit, ‘Puppy Prodigies’ that Judy founded. Through this, Judy and those who support her organisation train puppies to be assistance dogs, emotional support dogs, therapy dogs and pet dogs just like Ricochet. Ricochet has also raised over $1 million dollars for human and animal causes. She had a video go viral with over 6.6 million views on YouTube called “From Service Dog to SURFice dog” She has had a huge impact on Judy’s life and brings endless learning opportunities each and every day.
The impact that Ricochet has had on those who have met her has been immeasurable. She has changed and saved many lives by balancing boards, and balancing lives!