Golden Retriever Ricki: From service dog to SURFice dog

Check out Golden Retriever Ricochet’s (Rip Curl Ricki’s) journey from service dog training to fundraising, to tandem surfing with quadriplegic surfer, Patrick Ivison.

Visit her site at and click here to learn more about Golden Surfing.


Meet Golden Boston … Retired Guide Dog to Therapy Dog

Bob Armstrong brings his old Golden Retriever Boston (his wife Debee’s retired Guide Dog) to the Kaiser Permanente hospital in Santa Clara, CA. Debee has a new Golden Guide Dog, but happily trains her Goldens so that when she needs to retire them from the work-intensive job as a Guide Dog, they can be transitioned into being just a loving member of the family as well as doing therapy dog visitation work.

Learn more about Boston’s Guide Dog days here.

Service dog reject Ricochet becomes surfer dude

Golden Retriever Richochet and Patrick Ivison. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

You can learn more about Richochet in our previous blogging and at our foundation’s site on Golden Surf Dogs.

Golden Ricki

Richochet’s story made it bigtime, the Associated Press doing a fabulous article and video. And, she has been an incredible fundraiser, donations in for almost $9000.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ricochet is a service dog dropout. It’s not that she wasn’t dog enough. To the contrary, there was way too much dog in her.

Her undoing? Chasing birds. But she’s found redemption in the ocean, surfing to raise money for a quadriplegic teen.

Ricochet, a 19-month-old golden retriever, lives with Judy Fridono in Escondido, about 25 miles north of San Diego. The two set out to raise $7,000 to help Patrick Ivison, a 15-year-old who was just a year old when he was run over by a car.

They exceeded that goal when Ricochet competed in the inaugural Surf City Surf Dog Contest in Huntington Beach, bringing her summer fundraising total to more than $8,200, Fridono said. The playful surfer dog came in second in the large dog finals Sunday, even with a special bootie she wore after tearing a paw pad while racing around the beach a few days before the contest.

Ricochet plans to continue hanging 20 and raising money to help with Ivison’s physical therapy. Insurance pays for one hour of therapy every week, but the San Diego high school sophomore needs six.

Dog and dog owner hope to eventually help someone else after Ivison.

Ricochet had nearly nine months of service dog training behind her when her bird problem developed at the beach one day. Fridono was brokenhearted.

“I didn’t want her to just become a pet dog,” she said. “So rather than focus on what she couldn’t do, we focused on what she could do. And that was surfing.”

Ricochet had worked with a boogie board in the puppy pool during service dog training and developed remarkable balance. So she was spayed and Rip Curl Ricki — her surfer girl nickname — was born. She entered her first surfing contest in June, then Fridono set up “Surfin’ for Paws-abilities,” the fundraising drive.

Ivison had been surfing adaptively for about seven years, so it seemed natural that they would meet and team up. He said he couldn’t ride the adaptive surfboard, which is built for two people, without Ricochet.

“She acts as that second person. She knows how to balance, too. She leans back and turns the board and it’s pretty cool to watch.”

The Guide Dog Experience …. with Golden Retriever Jerry

Want to see how tough it is to learn to walk with a Guide Dog? Check this out. This video was filmed at the Kennel Club Building in Stoneleigh Park. Richard Michael explains about the ‘Guide Dog Experience’

Golden Retriever Jerry does a wonderful job, don’t you think?

Learn more about these smart dudes here.

Golden Retriever Boomer’s Healing Touch

Boomer: A Golden Retriever’s Healing Touch

In this photo by Fred Squillante, Golden Boomer is taking a break from his duties as school dog at Slate Hill Elementary School in Worthington. The golden retriever was trained as a service dog for the blind, but a bad hip ended his career. The Pilot Dogs organization donated him to the school. Come learn more.

A Banking Demo Golden Retriever Assistance Dog Ikea

I recently received a post from from UK friend, Allen Parton. He has a whiz of a Yellow Lab Assistance Dog named Endal and also a Demonstration Assistance Dog named Ikea. While Ikea was initially being trained to be an assistance dog, medical issued curtailed his career. However, he does a GReat job doing assistance dog demonstration work.

Endal and Ikea are pictured below in this wonderful bank photo. Endal is on the left and Ikea is in the middle.


I thought this was Bark-lays bank…

They might not be able to help if you forget your Pin, but these dogs can get your money out without paws-ing for thought.

The pooches are among an army of ‘assistance dogs’ who have been trained to withdraw money from cash machines for their disabled owners.

They are adept at inserting and withdrawing cards at ATMs to help owners in wheelchairs who are often not able to stretch far enough to do it themselves.

A spokesman for charity Canine Partners, which trains the dogs, said: ‘They put in the card and take it out and take out the money and give it to the person in the wheelchair. They can’t put in the Pin but a person in a wheelchair can go sideways on and do that.’

Up to 30 dogs are trained each year and the charity is hoping to double that figure next year. It takes two years to train them, in which time they also learn to load the washing and pick up items from shop shelves.

One of the graduates of the scheme is ten-year-old Endal, who helped start the ATM service by chance.

There’s more . . . .


Playful pup needs more training or a major shift in career goals
By Julie Birkedal, Of The Globe Gazette

MASON CITY — Not every dog is cut out to be a leader. Working with a new leader dog this fall, a young golden retriever named Chopper has given Gary Schriver ample opportunity to learn that.

Chopper, who is 19 months old, helps Schriver get to Southbridge Mall for coffee, but the trip sometimes turns out to be more of an adventure than Schriver would like. As a result, Chopper either has more training or a career change ahead. His work with Schriver will end after the holidays.

For years, Schriver, 54, has been a familiar sight navigating streets and shopping areas in Mason City with leader dogs, first Krystee and then Solomon. He learned to depend on guide dogs after losing his vision suddenly 24 years ago.

Both other dogs worked until age and injury required them to retire. Solomon, who retired with an injured knee ligament this fall, lounges comfortably on the living room floor as Schriver holds Chopper’s paw and tells their story.

They met in late September when Schriver went to Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Mich., to meet and train with a new dog. He was paired with Chopper, but the young golden is too distractable, he said. They were walking down the sidewalk together once when Chopper suddenly dived in front of him. “I tripped over him and fell flat on my face,” Schriver said.

It didn’t make Schriver feel any better to reach into the dog’s mouth and pull out a leaf. A leaf cannot distract a working dog guiding someone across a busy intersection, he said.

There’s more……

Love on a Leash with Golden Allegra

Love on a Leash

For ages, dogs have been used to help humans do everything from physical labor to emotional healing. But not every dog is meant for every chore. Meet Allegra, a five-year-old Golden Retriever who was put into one training program only to find a better fit in another. Now she has a second chance – and a very unique ministry. Kim Riemland has the story.

Just click here to see the video of this special girl.