Ricochet, the beloved Golden Retriever who found her calling as a therapy dog when she learned to surf, has died in Southern California.
The 15-year-old canine helped countless veterans and children for more than a decade by providing therapy in the waves of San Diego, according to his owner, Judy Fridono.
The dog, who died on Friday, was diagnosed with liver cancer last August, he said.
Ricochet was trained to be a service animal, but the energetic pup liked chasing birds more than helping with chores, Fridono said.
The canine's mission was made clear in 2009, when she hopped on a surfboard with quadriplegic surfer Patrick Ivison. A viral video of his trip he obtained more than 6 million visits.
“That day he got on the board with Patrick, he was reborn,” Fridono said in a 2012 interview with the San Diego Union Tribune . She "kept running back to the water wagging her tail like she could finally tell me, 'This is what I want to do.'"
For the rest of his life, Ricochet helped children with special needs, wounded military personnel, and families of fallen veterans.
She worked as a therapy dog for Pawsitive Teams and the San Diego Naval Medical Center, where she supported people with trauma, anxiety and other emotional challenges, the Union-Tribune said.
In addition, Ricochet helped raise $1 million for charity and the donation of more than 1 million bowls of food for homeless animals, the newspaper said.