The surfing dog and her human volunteers are pawing it forward one wave at a time.
When an autistic boy is trapped in a world of seclusion, unable to connect with those around him and too afraid to try, Ricochet knows what to do.
When a veteran returns home from combat only to face a different kind of enemy, Ricochet is there to help.
As the first ever surfing therapy dog, a Golden Retriever named Ricochet has found a way to combine the healing power of the ocean with the comfort and companionship of a dog. She helps veterans suffering from PTSD, children with autism, and people with disabilities find confidence and self-determination. Together, they hit the beach, jump on a board, and surf for the sake of self-empowerment.
Ricochet's Waves of Empowerment program takes those healing initiatives a step further. Once a person has surfed with Ricochet, they then have the opportunity to join the program as a Wave Warrior. Wave Warriors are individuals who have prior experience with Ricochet's unique method of healing. Waves of Empowerment is their chance to use their experience to help others.
They help the new surfers both in the water and on land, and in turn, the volunteers also help themselves. The program facilitates engagement and encourages both the Wave Warriors and the new surfers to connect with each other. They build relationships that stem from shared experiences and grow into something bigger.
Wave Warriors develop a sense of belonging and practice compassion and empathy. For a child afraid to speak up or an adult coping with depression and inner turmoil, this is a life-changing opportunity. Ricochet helps them see the world through a new perspective; one where they make a positive difference in someone else's life. That kind of self-worth goes a long way both on the board and off.
Catching a wave with Ricochet is a step toward self-empowerment and independence, and becoming a Wave Warrior is a way to paw it forward.
Waves of Empowerment is always looking for helping hands both in the water and on land. If you'd like to learn more about their volunteer opportunities, or know someone who would benefit from surfing with Ricochet, contact them through their website.
What do you think about what Ricochet's doing with Waves of Empowerment? Let us know in the comments!
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