Kids with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Get Once-In-A-Lifetime Chance to Ride Waves with Surfing DogRhona Melsky
It’s not every day you see a dog surfing on the beach, but Ricochet has been surfing for some time and helping people do extraordinary things. Not to mention she has a special knack with children. The Golden Retriever uses her special type of therapy that “builds confidence while giving people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” according to an article at Wide Open Pets.
The dog who was “slated to be a service dog” for one jumped on a surfboard in 2009 along with a 14-year-old quadriplegic boy, and Ricochet’s life changed as she would change the lives of everyone she would meet, according to her Facebook page.
At her most recent session, the Therapy Dogs Inc registered therapy dog helped a very special group of children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which affects “the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord,” the Wide Open Pets article said, robbing them “of the ability to walk, crawl, sit, lift their heads, and even breathe on their own.”
On Aug. 15, 2017, Ricochet and a team of dedicated volunteers were on a mission to bring a day of fun, smiles and excitement to children with SMA. They used “adaptive surfboards” for the children’s safety. “A few of the children also needed breathing assistance from permanent ventilators, but even that didn’t slow them down,” the article said. Volunteers ensured water did not get into ventilators.
Each child that day had a moving experience like no other with the youngest child that day being 15 months old. Their families were there to watch them all have exceptional experiences.
Ricochet is “helping to spread awareness about SMA in hopes of giving her new surfing friends a brighter future,” the article said. That day they were “celebrating a breakthrough drug called Spinraza that has been recently approved to treat the terminal disease.”