SURF DOG, RICOCHET CATCHES NEW WAVES AS SHE
FUNDRAISES FOR 15 YEAR OLDQUADRIPLEGIC BOYíS REHABILITATION
My name is Ricochet (Ricki), and Iím an 18 month old golden retriever. I want to introduce you to Patrick, a 15 year old boy. Our lives recently became intertwined through our love of surfing. Some are surprised to hear that a dog can surf. But, whatís more surprising isÖ Patrick surfs! You see, Patrick is a quadriplegic. Despite that, he has accomplished some amazing things in his life.
Iím just starting to accomplish some amazing things in my life, but I need your help. I started a fundraising campaign to raise money for Patrickís rehabilitation and new service dog.
In an effort to raise money for my fundraising campaign, a few weeks ago we completed the first known tandem surfing ride between an adaptive surfer and a dog! To see this exciting, unusual, inspirational, and touching event captured by a local TV station, copy this link to your internet browser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsFaNImf7Mw For another video with more of the action use this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KR5VNHvXgk .
When Patrick was a child, he and his mom were walking behind a parked car when the driver, backed up suddenly, and ran over Patrick, pinning him under the car. The driver was un-insured. Patrick suffered a C4-5 incomplete spinal cord injury, and was diagnosed as a quadriplegic.
Patrick has been in a wheelchair ever since. At first, his muscles shortened and tightened, and his posture had deteriorated after years of being in a chair. But, at 10 years of age, Patrick started going to Project Walk (www.projectwalk.org) an intense physical therapy program that helps people with spinal cord injuries build strength by exercising parts of the body they canít move or control on their own. They have had amazing results with people from all over the world. Since he began, his body has been in constant change! His muscles are elongating, his strength is increasing, and his posture is improving. He has an increased range of motion in both his arms and legs, and most recently has gained movement in his hands which allows him to pick things up. Patrick is able to do things he never thought he could!
Patrick and his family want him to continue participating in Project Walk. The problem is, the program is very expensive, and not covered by insurance. Each hour of treatment costs $100, and Patrick needs six hours of treatment per week for at least three years.
Patrick is also in the process of getting a service dog to give him more independence from an organization called Pawsitive Teams (www.pawsteams.org). A very special dog named Kona has been selected for Patrick. The training is going well, and Kona has been taught very specific tasks that will help Patrick, such as taking his shoes off at bedtime, something Patrick isnít able to do on his own. The actual out of pocket expenses for a highly trained service dog like Kona is thousands and thousands of dollars, but Pawsitive Teams charges $2,000 to their recipients.
Patrickís goal is to attend college one day, and be independent in life. He dreams of walking across the stage at his high school graduation in 2012, and I believe with his determination, the help of Project Walk, and his new service dog, he will realize his dream!
RICOCHET(Ricki): From service dog to SURFice dog
Iím a female golden retriever who enjoys catching waves, and hanging 20! Iím known in the southern California doggie surf scene as ďRip Curl Ricki. I enter surf dog contests, and just won 2nd place overall at the 2009 Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon.
But, my path in life was to become a service dog/breeder for Puppy Prodigies Neo-natal & Early Learning Program (www.puppyprodigies.org). But, as I grew, so did my interest in chasing birds, and small, furry prey animals! Thatís a no-no for a service dog.
A ďboardĒ meeting was held, and my career path changed. It was decided the focus would be on what I CAN do, instead of what I canít. And, one of the things I do well is surf. So, because I still want to help people, my title went from service dog to SURFice dog! I want to take my natural ability of balancing on a surfboard, and make it meaningfulÖ I want to make a difference. So, rather than a litter of puppies being bornÖ
Surfiní for Paws-abilities was born!Ö which is a fundraising initiative carved out for me through Puppy Prodigies. So, Iím still able to be part of Puppy Prodigies! But, now Iím a fundraiser instead of a service dog/breeder. Hmmmm, I think Iím going to call myself a FUNraiser though!
Most surf dog contests raise money for their own specific charity(s) through registration fees, vendor charges, raffles, etc. So, Iím already helping charitable causes in an in-direct way. But, I want to do more with my surfing. I want to take it a step further and make it more up close, and personalÖ helping a specific individual or cause.
About the same time my mom was trying to train me NOT to chase birds, Pawsitive Teams was in the process of matching one of their service dogs with Patrick. As fate would have itÖ one of Patrickís favorite activities is adaptive surfing. So, it seemed like destiny that this little surfer girlís first fund raiser would be for this young surfer boy!!
Iíve already started my fund raising, and it will be ongoing through November, 2009. But, Patrick and I will be catching waves in San Diego over the next few weeks, practicing for the upcoming Surf City Surf Dog contest (www.surfcitysurfdog.com) in Huntington Beach on October 11th where we will be demonstrating our new skills. Iíll also be competing in the contest to raise money for Patrick. Iím also looking for corporate sponsors that will provide a grant/donation to reach my fundraising goals. To become a corporate sponsor or make a donation, go to http://www.ripcurlricki.com/SurfinforPawsabilities.htm
Thank you for your support! You can ďfetchĒ me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 707-228-0679 707-228-0679. Thank you for your help.
Puppy dog kisses,
My website: http://www.ripcurlricki.com/SurfinforPawsabilities.htm
Patrickís website: www.helppatrickwalk.org
A video of Patrick and his new service dog
A video of Patrick attempting to walk at Project Walk
Riccochet and Mom/owner Judy
For more information on Patrick and Riccochet or for information in regards to
being a sponsor or making a donation visit:
Riccochet the Surf Dog website
Surfing to help people with disabilities
Or Contact Judy direct by email at:
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