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Surfing Dog Raises Money for Quadriplegic Surfer (and Surfs with Him!)

Surfing Dog Raises Money for Quadriplegic Surfer (and Surfs with Him!)

This is a bold statement to make – but I believe that the following youtube video tugs at my heart strings harder than any other:

The viral video has over 1 million views. In this case, I can actually understand the large number of views. A surfing dog is certainly more impressive than a piano-playing cat, don’t you think?

But it’s the heart-warming story that has made this video so popular. Ricochet the Surf Dog, also known as Rip Curl Ricki, raises awareness and funds for charities. The video explains how Ricochet was trained to be a service dog from birth, but she could never give up chasing birds (which would make her a liability as a service dog). Her trainer decided to focus on her strength – surfing.

The service dog became a SURFice dog and raised money to help quadriplegic surfer Patrick Ivison. Ricochet also rode the waves with Patrick. The video is amazing. If there was ever any doubt, now we know that the dog truly is man’s best friend. This stands in stark contrast to my earlier post about Atlanta dog attack injuries. These two contrasting posts show that the way a dog is raised and trained makes all the difference.

The surfing dog video has generated thousands of dollars in donations for charity. Ricochet’s newest best friend is six-year-old Ian McFarland, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a tragic car accident that killed his parents.

In 2008, Tod and Stephanie McFarland were driving to a wedding with their three children when they had a horrible car crash. The two parents died. Ian’s brother and sister survived with minimal injuries. Ian was diagnosed with diffuse axonal brain injury. He is slowly but surely responding to therapy.

“Both his therapies and the equipment are costly,” explains Ricochet on her website (yes, the surfing dog can type, too). “I am trying to help raise money so he can get the necessary medical care he needs, and I hope you can help too! Ian still loves sports and hopes to one day be back at surfing and skateboarding. But it will be a long road. They tell me Ian is the most motivated on the beach, so I’m looking forward to playing with him there, and of course, seeing if I can get him on the surfboard with me! Paw-abunga!”

It’s great that so many youtube viewers and one “puppy prodigy” are coming together to help children with spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Ricochet may not be a typical service dog, but she is providing more than her share of service.

Visit to learn more about Ricochet and how you can help Ian recovery from his traumatic brain injury.

If your child has suffered a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 if you need legal advice.