If your dog loves the ocean, you may have already discovered the joys of surfing the waves with your canine companion. Dogs can make great surf buddies", but some dogs are making a downright heroic splash riding the waves. Check out these surfer dogs who are making a difference:
A Service Dog that became a Veteran's Hero:
After serving in Iraq, Army veteran and retired Staff Sgt. Randall Dexter faced a different battle. His work as a combat medic combined with the experiences he had endured, including his team being blasted by explosives during his tour, had left him with post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. When he came to San Diego in 2012 on the brink of suicide, he was fighting for a reason to live again. That's when he heard about Paws'itive Teams, a nonprofit that trains dogs to help people like Dexter. The father of 3 was paired with an award winning surfer dog named Ricochet. As their bond increased, Ricochet taught Dexter how to surf and in a recent segment on the Today Show, the former vet credited his four-legged friend, “She gave me freedom and gave me my life back! ", Dexter said.
A Dog Surfing for a Cause:
When 5 year old Cherie was a young pup, her owners, unable to afford her care, turned her over to the French Bulldog Rescue Shelter. Luckily, Amy and Dan Nykolayko chose to adopt Cherie. The trio frequently visited Long Beach where the Southern California couple noticed how much their pet shared their love for the ocean. The owners enrolled Cherie in dog surfing classes in Del Mar and it wasn't long before their newest family member had mastered the tricks of the tide. With the help of the Nykolaykos, the former pound puppy began entering surf competitions in 2013. Since then, the rescued bulldog has become a chip off the old block, raising over $7000 to benefit rescue shelters for other abandoned dogs through her wins in surf competitions.