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While other working dogs featured in the IMAX film “Superpower Dogs” earned their superhero status by searching rubble or snowbanks for disaster survivors, surfer and therapist Ricochet, a 10-year-old Golden Retriever, helped humans in a different way. She surfs to help veterans, children and others psychologically.
The differences continued to Ricochet’s diet. She ate a raw dog food, while most of the other dogs dined primarily on kibble with meat treats. Ricochet’s human partner, Judy Fridono feeds her one pound of raw dog food per day.
Like Reef, a water rescue Newfoundland working in the Mediterranean, Ricochet takes to the waves in her work to help people. Unlike Reef, Ricochet uses a surfboard instead of a life preserver.
Fridono didn’t set out to train a surfing therapist, but in 2009, Ricochet hopped on a surfboard with a boy who was quadriplegic, out of her own volition. Fridono took Ricochet’s predilection for surfing and ran with it.
Now, Ricochet supports individuals with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities as they surf. Wave-riding and canine companionship provide a double dose of mental and physical therapy. Puppy Prodigies, a non-profit organization, facilitates Ricochet’s work.
The stars of the IMAX film “Superpower Dogs” walked the red carpet at the premiere of the 3-D movie in Los Angeles on March 9. From alpine rescuer Henry the Border Collie to therapist surfer Ricochet the Golden Retriever, the dogs lived heroic lives. The movie told their stories, while following the training of one Dutch Shepherd, Halo, from birth to certification as a disaster rescue dog.
To fuel their active lifestyles, the dogs ate a variety of diets, according to the people who accompanied them to the premiere.
Mars Petcare sponsored the IMAX film, which was produced in collaboration with various working dog groups.