American Humane Association Hero Dog, Surf Dog Ricochet is saluting veterans and their families for the sacrifices they’ve made this Veterans Day.
But, it’s not just Veterans Day when Ricochet recognizes our war heroes. She’s been changing and saving the lives of wounded warriors, active duty service members and veterans with PTSD for over 10 years as a certified therapy dog and champion surf dog.
She recently caught some waves with triple amputee Army veteran, Jose Martinez and Marine veteran, Staff Sergeant Persons B. Griffith IV (Griff) who suffers from PTSD
Ricochet, Martinez and Griffith have joined forces to share their experiences in an effort to heal, change and save the lives of the 22 veterans a day that take their life by suicide.
Jose became a triple amputee after stepping on a bomb in Afghanistan. Doctors told his unit he wasn’t going to make it. But he woke up from a coma ten days later. He spent 2 years in the hospital after the explosion and was told he would never walk again. But now he’s a competitive adaptive surfer, and Ricochet is one of his sponsors.
Griffith, served two tours in Afghanistan. When he returned home, he faced another battle – PTSD. He tried many different therapies, but none of them worked until he met Ricochet.
“Ricochet is like a mirror for me, it’s like she reaches in with both her paws, grabs what’s really going on inside of me, pulls it out, and the forces me to deal with it,” says Griff.
Ricochet is a champion surf dog. But, more importantly, she became the first ever canine-assisted surf therapy and adaptive surfing dog in 2009 when she made a decision to jump on the surfboard of a 14-year-old adaptive surfer. Since then, she’s assisted hundreds and hundreds of kids with special needs, people with disabilities and wounded warriors. She balances boards… and lives!