All paws on deck! A surfing dog named Ricochet is changing the lives of combat veterans with PTSD and children with special needs through canine-assisted water sports.
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In the unique program Waves of Empowerment, veterans or disabled adults become mentors to the kids, and together, the pairs complete a series of activities such as paddle boarding, playing and therapy, all in the company of their new furry friend Ricochet, who serves as a registered, certified and top AKC titled therapy dog.
The program aims to provide an inclusive environment for these marginalized groups, and in turn, help them maximize their fullest potentials.
Estimates suggest that 93 million children harness disabilities, and they are often defined by what they cannot do, rather than for what they can. Another statistic reveals that every 65 minutes, a veteran with PTSD takes their own life. Ricochet is committed to chaining these numbers.
The practical pup works with the program’s participants to help reduce their social anxiety, one of the most common symptoms of PTSD and Autism. Ricochet and her team of emotional support dogs also assist the veterans in fostering leadership skills to acquire a new sense of purpose, and the children in gaining independence and self-confidence.
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Children are also afforded the option to partake in crafts and games at Waves of Empowerment, should they experience a sensory overload.
To find out more about Waves of Empowerment, watch the heartwarming clip above!
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