By now you’ve met Ricochet, the 2-year-old Golden Retriever, who has gone from service dog, to SURFice dog.
The Surfing Examiner recently wrote an article introducing the BITCHen pooch to his growing list of subscribers, in which he mentioned how “cool” he thought Ricochet was.
Well, the Surfing Examiner must digress. He got it all wrong.
Ricochet is not only cool; she is PAWsome! And the following story about this particular “man’s best friend” and her new friend, will attest.
Ian McFarland is a 6-year-old boy, and, like Ricochet, he is a surfer. He learned to surf with his father, enjoying that special son/dad relationship among the waves that only a son/dad combo can relate to.
On July 3, 2008, Ian, then five, his sister, Lauren, 2, his brother Luke, 1, and parents Tod and Stephanie McFarland, left from their home in Carlsbad, California to attend a wedding in Boulder, Colorado.
But they never made it.
The family suffered a devastating car accident that took the lives of Mr. and Mrs. McFarland. While the injuries to Lauren and Luke were slight, Ian suffered severe brain damage and was left in a coma.
Following four months in the hospital, Ian was finally discharged, but the trauma to the brain left him barley able to speak, attached to a feeding tube and bound to a wheelchair. And the rehabilitation costs are astronomical.
So enter Ricochet, who helped to raise money for the ailing Ian, mostly through his inspirational video on YouTube, yet another fine gesture by this amazing pooch that continues to raise awareness for her long list of charities.
But Ricochet and Ian were not finished. The two would meet again, with results that are, to say the least, PAW-inspiring and centered around their mutual love for the ocean and the great sport of surfing.
“The Ocean is very therapeutic for Ian,” says Ian’s Aunt Melissa. “It was in the water where Ian took his first steps after the accident, and it would be wonderful if Ricochet could help motivate him to do even more, and get back on a board. Ian loves dogs.”
It didn’t take any coaxing for Ricochet to rise for the occasion, and a surf session was arranged for May 25, 2010.
“It used to take an hour or two to coax Ian into the water,” says Melissa. “He has some fears post accident. But, on this day, because he was told that Ricochet was going to surf with him, he woke up and said ‘I WANT TO SURF TODAY'”.
And so they did. Ian returned to the place where he used to surf with his loving father…with a new friend.
And when all was said and done, Ricochet presented Ian with, not only a few kisses, but a check for $7000 to help with rehabilitation costs.
Two friends surfing together.
And as we all know, there’s nothing quite like surfing with friends.
For more information on Ricochet: Visit her website, and follower her on facebook.
For more information on Ian: visit his website.
Special thanks to Tamandra Michaels and Heart Dog Studios for use of the photo and to Judy Fridono for the touching video.
Sources: Judy Fridono; Ian McFarland