Ricochet, (”Rip Curl Ricki,”) the Surfin’ for Paws-abilities SURFice dog, who raised over $10,000 for quadriplegic surfer, Patrick Ivison (we blogged about this awhile back), and most recently raised over $3500 in a toy drive, is catching a new wave with Ian McFarland. Ricochet's current project presents a unique and exciting triple challenge: Help get Ian back on a surfboard/surfing, help motivate him through his rehabilitation, and raise funds to offset the expense of his costly medical bills.
In July, 2008, Ian and his family set out for a road trip to Colorado, but never made it. A devastating car accident claimed the lives of his parents, and Ian suffered a severe traumatic brain injury that left him in a coma. Ian spent almost four months in the hospital, and although discharged, still had a feeding tube, could barely speak, and was in a wheelchair. Over the course of 18 months, Ian has made remarkable progress in his recovery, but still has a long way to go.
Unfortunately, his rehabilitation therapies are very costly, and that's where Ricochet's fundraising comes in. In the last three weeks, she has raised over $3080 for Ian through her inspirational YouTube video "From Service Dog to SURFice Dog" (click here to watch). The video went viral, and has over 1.2 million views, which continues to increase on a daily basis with donations coming in from all over the world.
Ian used to surf with his daddy, and it's his hope to surf again. "The Ocean is very therapeutic for Ian," says his 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."
Ricochet recently met Ian, and although it was too cold for the beach, the pair didn't let that stop them from hanging out on a surfboard! Sessions with Ian will continue through the winter, and since Ricochet is a certified goal directed therapy dog through Pawsitive Teams, she will use her skills to help motivate Ian in his rehabilitation. As the weather gets warmer, therapy will continue on the beach... in the ocean... on a surfboard!
Ricochet was slated to be a service dog for a person with a disability through the Puppy Prodigies program, but had to be released from the role due to her drive to chase birds, which could be risky for a person with a disability. Rather than focus on what she couldn’t do, the emphasis was placed on what she COULD do, and the Surfin’ for Paws-abilities initiate was carved out for her.
For more information, or to make a donation go to www.ripcurlricki.com, or contact Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679, or email@example.com. You can also visit:
Ricochet's facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/ydat25x
Ian's website: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ianmcfarland1
Pawsitive Teams website: http://www.pawsTeams.org
Puppy Prodigies website: http://www.puppyprodigies.org