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Golden retriever and paralyzed surfer session in So Cal


Surfing Dogs

Surf dog contest winner tandem surfs with spinal chord injured adaptive surfer

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 August, 2009 : - - 'Rip Curl Ricki,' a local golden retriever surf contest winner, will be taking to the waves next Thursday, August 20, to learn a new skill: surfing tandem with Patrick Ivison, a 15-year-old spinal cord injured adaptive surfer. 

“Ricochet” (as she is known on land) has been surfing since she was a puppy, and has always been part of surfing fundraising efforts for great causes.  The newest project for Ricochet, however, presents a unique and exciting challenge: training to surf tandem, as well as alongside Patrick Ivison, who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident when he was only 14 months old.  Patrick was diagnosed quadriplegic, but he is able to surf using an adaptive surfboard. 

In addition to accomplishing a tandem surf ride with a person with limited physical abilities (rarely, if ever done), Ricochet will use her surf training next week to prepare for upcoming surf competitions/fundraisers for Patrick.

Although Patrick has excelled through the years in both school and adaptive sports (adaptive surfing is his specialty), he recently decided that having a service dog would help him achieve greater independence as he approaches his college years. Paws’itive Teams, a local non-profit organization that places service dogs with persons with disabilities, caught wind of Patrick’s story and matched him with a golden retriever named Kona.

Patrick also participates in an intense physical therapy program funded through Help Patrick Walk, which helps him build strength by exercising parts of his body he can’t move or control on his own.  Since starting his therapy, Patrick has been able to do things he never thought he could. 

The costs of training a service dog, and specialized physical therapy are steep, however – that’s where Ricochet’s knack for surfing and fundraising comes in.

Ricochet will be carving waves in San Diego for the next several weeks to prepare for the Helen Woodward Surf Dog Surf-a-thon in Del Mar on September 13, 2009 as well as the Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach on October 11. 

Patrick is an official beneficiary for the Surf City Surf Dog contest, and the proceeds donated to Ricochet through her fundraising efforts will go directly to Paws’itive Teams, and Help Patrick Walk, for the sole purpose of easing the financial burden on Patrick and his family. 

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Brian Geddes

Surfing Dogs - Surfersvillage

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