Thursday, February 17, 2011
When I first wrote about Surf Dog Ricochet early last year, I knew she was incredibly special and destined to do great work during her lifetime. CANIDAE knew it too, because not long after that article ran, they honored Ricochet with a coveted spot in their Special Achievers program. CANIDAE created this sponsorship program as a way to support exemplary pets and their owners, and Ricochet and her amazing “Mom” Judy, certainly qualify.
What makes these two so extraordinary in my eyes is not that Ricochet can surf (which is admittedly very cool) and that Judy found a unique way to use her dog’s talent and pawsome personality to help others. It’s not even that Surf Dog Ricochet has become a famous fundraising “Super Dog” who supports a variety of worthwhile causes for humans and animals alike, or that Ricochet received the AKC Award for Canine Excellence last year, a national award given to only five dogs every year.
Don’t get me wrong. All of those are inspiring accomplishments, and Ricochet and Judy deserve to be commended for all of the wonderful work they do. But what makes these two so special in my eyes is something not everyone has – the right attitude. Despite the disappointments, setbacks and challenges they encounter, Surf Dog Ricochet and Judy display great courage, heart, hopefulness, and a positive CAN DO attitude unlike any I’ve ever seen. And they never miss an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. Imagine what this world would be like, if everyone could embrace this philosophy!
With Judy’s help, Ricochet has embraced a lifestyle of helping others by “pawing it forward” while raising awareness and funds for various charities. They raised countless thousands last year, including over $9000 for the Surfin’ Santa Paws toy drive. More recently, Ricochet began helping a no-kill shelter called Target’s Bunker get off the ground. Target’s Bunker was started by SGT Terry Young in memory of his dog Target, a true canine hero if ever there was one. Target saved the lives of many soldiers in Afghanistan by thwarting a suicide bomber. Target came to Arizona to live with Young and his family, and soon after, was erroneously euthanized after escaping from their yard and ending up in a shelter.
In January, Ricochet organized a very successful blanket and towel drive for the Helen Woodward Animal Center. Her latest charitable endeavor is serving as spokesdog and fundraiser for Reality Rally, a “Fun for Funds” event that takes place in Temecula, California in April. Reality Rally is a fundraiser for Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center, a nonprofit created to help women cope with the challenges of breast cancer. Reality Rally was conceived and organized by Gillian Larson, a former contestant on the hit reality TV show Survivor.
Reality Rally is a four-hour “Amazing Race” type of event where teams consisting of the public and reality stars from Survivor, The Amazing Race, Big Brother and other shows race through Temecula and compete in fun activities. Ricochet has been challenged to raise more money than the reality stars, and so far she’s in the lead! If you want to help Surf Dog Ricochet take a bite out of breast cancer – and show these reality peeps that this dog has some serious fundraising chops, you can visit Ricochet’s Fundraising Page to donate a buck or two. The deadline for Ricochet’s Reality Versus FUReality showdown is February 24, but fundraising for the Reality Rally continues until April.
Read more articles by Julia Williams