Surf Dog Ricochet's Protege Makes a Splash with Her Water Rescue Initiative

Posted by Amber King
yellow lab towing young girl in pool
Facebook/Surfdog Ricochet

Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages one to four, but this water-loving pup is hoping to make a difference.

As Surf dog Ricochet's protege, a yellow Lab named Cori was exposed to water at a young age.

When she was 16 weeks old, she was introduced to a swimming pool for the first time. The sloshing water with its unknown depths was terrifying to the young pup, and it took time and patience for her to gain the courage to jump in.

Our new puppy Encore (Cori for short) is part of our non-profit, Puppy Prodigies. She will be a demo dog, therapy dog...

Posted by Surf dog Ricochet, the SURFice dog! on Sunday, November 6, 2016

With encouragement from her human owner and her friend Ricochet, Cori gradually started feeling more comfortable in the water. She learned to swim, and that fun soon led her toward an instinctive path for water rescue.

At nine months old she started showing interest in spending time in the water with kids, and like Ricochet, she made it clear she was ready to do something bigger.

Posted by Surf dog Ricochet, the SURFice dog! on Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cori now partners with Special Fishies Aquatic Freedom and Education to help children with special needs learn to swim and feel more confident in the water.

For many children, swimming is scary. They refuse to get in the pool with an instructor, but when their furry friend Cori is around, they're happy to try something new.

Children with a fear of the water relate to Cori because she also used to be scared to get in the pool. When they see her swimming and jumping into the water they think, "If Cori can do it, I can too."

When Cori intervened in a swim lesson for a four-year-old boy, there was an instant change. Without Cori, the boy was too frightened to learn anything from the lesson, but when the dog jumped in, his fear melted away. He trusted Cori over everyone else to take care of him, and the lesson turned into a positive experience.

Caiden didn't want anything to do with his Special Fishies: Aquatic Freedom and Education swim lesson today. He cried and cried. But watch what happened when Cori got in the pool. Yes, my FURiends, Cori's canine-assisted swimming breaks down barriers like only a dog can! This all took place on the same day!The number one cause of death for kids aged one to four is drowning. However, the danger is much higher for children with special needs, especially autism. So please share this video with anyone who has a child with special needs that could use a swim lesson and let's save some lives. For more info go to

Posted by Surf dog Ricochet, the SURFice dog! on Saturday, October 14, 2017

Every one of Cori's swim lessons includes one-on-one bonding in a comfortable environment. Cori spends time getting to know her new friends, and the children form a trusting relationship with the pup. When the child is confident that Cori won't let anything happen to them, they move to the pool with a certified swim instructor.

Cori wears a water rescue life jacket that has multiple handles for kids to hold on to. They practice their kicking and other water skills while Cori supports them and tows them around the pool. The children are more likely to try new things when they know Cori is there to protect them. Her presence helps reduce anxiety, improve confidence, and teach life-saving skills.

There are two handles on the back of Cori's lifejacket that allow the kids to hold on while being towed in.

Posted by Surf dog Ricochet, the SURFice dog! on Sunday, October 8, 2017

Above all, Cori helps kids in a way only a dog can. She is genuinely concerned about the well-being of everyone she works with, and her empathy combined with her fun-loving attitude is making a real difference in children's lives.

She's working with Surf dog's Ricochet Waves of Empowerment program to help promote ocean safety, and her ultimate goal is to prevent accidental drownings and raise awareness about drowning prevention.

Learn more about Cori's water rescue initiatives by visiting her page on the Surf dog Ricochet website. You can also keep up with her swim lessons by following her on Facebook.

What do you think about Cori's water rescue initiative? Let us know in the comments.

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Surf Dog Ricochet's Protege Makes a Splash with Her Water Rescue Initiative