Category Archives: dogs

Surfing dog raises ½ MILLION dollars for charity on New Year’s Eve

More than 250 human/animal causes benefit as Surf Dog Ricochet achieves this major fundraising milestone on New Year’s Eve!

Surf Dog Ricochet celebrated New Year’s Eve by reaching a new milestone… raising ½ million dollars! These funds have helped more than 250 different causes, as well as Ricochet’s programs and initiatives.

Reaching this major milestone demonstrates how much Ricochet’s worldwide community supports her efforts. She sincerely thanks her individual donors, social media followers, corporate sponsors and members of the media for their continued support.

Most of Ricochet’s fundraising has been done through social media, such as her popular Facebook Page with more than 259K supportive fans, Instagram with more than 104K followers and her inspirational video “From Service dog to SURFice dog” with more than 6.4 million views.

Ricochet has been raising awareness and funds for human/animal causes since 2009 when she made an independent decision to jump on a surfboard with Patrick Ivison, a quadriplegic surfer. As a result, she became the only SURFice dog® on the planet who creates unique programs, initiatives and surf therapy experiences that empower kids with special needs, people with disabilities, wounded warriors & veterans with PTSD.

Prior to Ricochet, there were no dogs committed to adaptive surfing. As such, she became the Canine Ambassador for Surfers with Disabilities, and revolutionized the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of dogs. As the years passed, there have been a number of surfing dogs inspired by Ricochet’s work who are now sharing the stoke of surf therapy, such as Leia from Walking on Waves in South Africa. Ricochet acted as a mentor to their program, and made a $500 donation to one of their surf sessions this past summer.

Having more dogs in the line-up comes at a time when Ricochet’s grassroots initiatives have organically evolved to the next level. One of those initiatives is her Waves of Empowerment program that empowers individuals to help themselves by helping others, while maximizing their well-being. These are folks that Ricochet has previously surfed, or worked with, who are now volunteering to help the next wave of disabled surfers get on board with her.

A look at Ricochet’s achievements, aside from fundraising, includes a wide variety of projects that focus on community outreach including her PTSD Battle Buddy Initiative, Operation Socialization, Friends of Bethany Hamilton Beautifully Flawed Retreat, ISA Adaptive Surfing Championship, Surf Away SMA, Life Rolls On, The Best Day Foundation, Veteran’s Adaptive Sports Camp, The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation Ocean Therapy program and many more that can be found on her website at http://www.surfdogricochet.com.

A key to Ricochet’s success was retiring from surf dog contests. Although she typically placed in the top three winning positions, she found adaptive surfing to be the ultimate prize. She has a powerful ability to make immediate, deep, heart-to-heart connections with the individuals she interacts with. She intuitively and empathically alerts to their emotional and physical changes which allows for profound paws-on healing interventions. She balances boards… and lives!

Next up for Ricochet is her 9th birthday on January 25. She has also been cast as one of the dogs in the upcoming IMAX film, Superpower Dogs. In addition, Ricochet is currently training her new puppy, a golden/lab mix named Encore (Cori). Although it’s not known if Cori will follow in Ricochet’s pawsteps as a surFUR, it’s a given that whatever she does will be in the spirit of pawing it forward!

Ricochet graciously thanks her generous supporters for these crucial donations that make it possible for her to carry out her work, proving what dogs are capable of.

Note: For more information visit http://www.surfdogricochet.com. On Facebook & Twitter: “Surf Dog Ricochet” https://www.facebook.com/SurfDogRicochet

ABOUT SURF DOG RICOCHET
Ricochet is a world famous, award-winning surfing dog who surfs for fun, wins surf dog contests & most importantly… SURFS WITH PURPOSE! She surfs solo, with children, adults, pros, celebrities, other dogs, a goat & even Rob Machado!

She is a certified and registered therapy dog who lives a lifestyle of helping others by pawing it forward while raising funds and awareness for human/animal causes. Her life story is penned in a book called Ricochet: Riding a Wave of Hope with the Dog Who Inspires Millions (available on Amazon).

She has gone from service dog to SURFice dog and back again! She holds the titles of AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD), American Humane Association Hero Dog, ASPCA Dog of the Year, AKC Award for Canine Excellence, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Surf Dog Hall of Fame, International Surfing Museums Surf Dog Walk of Fame, San Diego Humane Society Animal Compassion Award, and many more that can be found on her website.

Posted in dogs, people helping animals | 2 Comments

Most popular dog Halloween costumes

We love to see all the cute Halloween costumes for dogs! So far this year, these are the most popular according to Amazon. We can see why! They are all so cute.

STAR WARS COSTUMES
With the upcoming release of Rogue One this winter, Star Wars costumes are super popular:

Ewok dog costume
Rubies Costume Star Wars Collection Ewok Pet Costume

Bantha dog costume
Rubies Costume Star Wars Collection Bantha Rider Pet Costume

Yoda dog costume
Rubies Costume Star Wars Collection Yoda Pet Costume

SUPER HERO COSTUMES
Super heroes will always be on-trend, and these two classics made the Amazon best-seller list:
Batman Dog Costume
Rubies Costume DC Heroes and Villains Collection Classic Batman Pet Costume

Wonderwoman Dog Costume
Rubies Costume DC Heroes and Villains Collection Wonder Woman Pet Costume

And what would this year be without ELECTION COSTUMES
Try pairing a suit with this wig for a very on-topic pet costume:
Business suit for dogs

Rubies Costume Company Pet Business Suit Costume

Dog wig

Rubies Costume Company Political Billionaire Pet Wig

No matter what your pup dresses up as for Halloween, we hope that you will both have a safe and fun holiday. Which of these costumes is your favorite?

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Make Halloween a Treat, Not a Trick, for the Family Pet

Keep pets safe and secure from monsters, goblins and other Halloween dangers

Halloween can be challenging night for families with pets. While some pets enjoy the festivities, the strange sights and sounds may frighten others. Cats usually hide, but dogs may run away in fear – or run after trick-or-treaters in excitement.

trickortreat-2

“Halloween can be unsettling – and even dangerous — for family pets. To ensure it is a fun night for everyone, responsible pet parents need to take precautions,” says Renee Coughlin of at-home pet care provider Canine Company. She offers the following advice to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort:

  • Choose pet costumes with care, making sure they won’t restrict movement or vision and that there are no small pieces your pet can swallow. Introduce the costume a few days in advance so she gets used to it. Canine Company professional dog trainers recommend offering a treat and praise to help with the process.
  • Don’t force your pet to wear a costume if he isn’t comfortable. Instead, give your pet some Halloween flair with stencils and pet-safe paints or can create a Mohawk or punk hairdo with colored styling gels. A cute seasonal bandana is another option.
  • Bring pets indoors before dusk. Pets left alone outside – especially black cats –may fall victim to tricksters. Some pets become anxious at the children’s shouts and the constantly ringing doorbell. If your pet seems nervous, confine him to a room away from the activity.
  • Keep your dog on leash to prevent him from dashing out an open door. If you have an Invisible Fence system, you won’t need a leash, but be sure he is wearing his collar so he stays safely in the yard. If you take her trick-or-treating, be sure she is wearing identification tags in case she runs off in fear or in pursuit of other children.
  • Keep candy well out of reach. Chocolate is toxic for dogs: so is xylitol, the artificial sweetener used in many candies and gums. It’s best to have pet-safe treats in your pocket or close at hand to distract pets from candy.

“With a little extra planning, we can make Halloween a fun night for the entire family,” says Coughlin. For more advice on pet health and safety, visit Speak! Good Blog!

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Tennile + SPOT have given Trevor a new meaning to “lifesaving”

Trevor Thomas has always had a passion for extreme sports, ranging from backcountry skiing to racing cars. Then suddenly, his entire world changed at age 35 when he learned that he had a rare autoimmune disease with no cure, leaving him blind within eight months. Thomas says, “I thought I’d been issued a death sentence. Every day my vision got worse. I went from being perfectly normal to having to learn everything all over again.”

Spot Guidedog

After being encouraged to get out on the trails by an inspirational speaker who was a blind hiker, Thomas began training for long distance hikes. He accomplished his first hike blind in 2008. While it was a huge achievement, he didn’t complete it unscathed and endured several broken bones. He then reached out to several guide dog organizations across the United States with a request for a dual-mode guide dog that not only could perform normal guide duties, but could also handle extreme hiking and navigating the back country.

Denied by all but one organization, his request was finally answered by Guide Dogs for the Blind. In 2012 Thomas and Tennille, an energetic black lab, graduated from training, marking the start of a truly unique and life-altering friendship.

“Trevor and Tennille are an amazing team and we are proud of all they have accomplished both on and off the trail. We are grateful for all of Trevor’s efforts to help change perceptions around blindness and to serve as an ambassador for our organization,” commented Karen Woon, VP of Marketing, Guide Dogs for the Blind.

To date, Thomas and Tennille have crested over 6,000 miles and are aiming to reach 7,000 this year. He says, “It’s mind-boggling the miles she has covered in only 4 years. There are many long-distance hikers who have not done as many miles as Tennille.” Thomas is the first blind person in history to complete a solo, end-to-end thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which is 2,175 miles long. He says one of his biggest successes thus far was completing the Colorado Trail, since he attempted it in 2011 and was unsuccessful without Tennille. “There are no other guide dogs that I know of that do what Tennille does. She’s enabled me to do things not only personally but professionally that I otherwise would not have been able to achieve; in a sense, she saved me.”

While Thomas says they err on the side of caution and try to take every safety measure possible, sometimes things can be unpredictable while in the backcountry. They’ve had their share of close calls on the trail, but that it was always comforting knowing he had a way to reach out to get help if needed.

“Safety for Tennille and I is my priority when in the back country. No matter who you are, things can go wrong and my SPOT Gen3® is the most important piece of gear that I have to let folks know where I am and summon for assistance if needed,” comments Thomas. “And should I truly be in a life-threatening situation – I can remember a few close calls – the S.O.S. button on my SPOT device will be there for me.”

Not only does he carry a SPOT Gen3 for himself, but Tennille also has her own SPOT device which she carries on her pack. “It’s simple. She is very important to me and while I know she would never voluntarily leave me, if something were to go wrong in the back country and we were separated, then her SPOT will be pinging and we could find her,” he says.

When they aren’t on the trail, Tennille holds Trevor to a strict schedule. “Every day we hike 8 to 15 miles just to stay in shape. She can tell time and will definitely give me attitude if I am working in my office all day and we haven’t gone on our daily hike.” Tennille also enjoys car rides and visiting their local grocery. “People are always amazed when we walk into a store and I tell her my list and she will bring me to the items. We end up with an audience following us around. She can differentiate between specific chips and even varieties of the same sports drink brand.”

According to Thomas, Tennille has a very strict diet she must adhere to as all guide dogs do, and that “trail angels” will often bring her some of her favorites including bananas, baby carrots, mangos, broccoli, Greek yogurt and green beans. When they complete a thru-hike or a special trek, he says they have a tradition, “We both get filet mignon!”

Upcoming adventures for the pair include hiking the high altitude Collegiate Peaks Loop in Colorado, a total of 187 miles that will take around two weeks to complete. From there they will travel to California and thru hike the John Muir Trail to summit Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Completing this climb will make Tennille the first guide dog ever to do so and set a new altitude record for a blind person and guide dog at 14,997 ft.

Throughout the year and especially during September Guide Dog Awareness month, Thomas hopes to help educate society on the importance of what guide dogs do for people in everyday life. “None of the guide dog schools receive public funds. They are raised and paid for by donations only.”

In addition to supporting Guide Dogs for the Blind, Thomas is also passionate about his foundation, Team FarSight Foundation, Inc., which he founded in 2013 to challenge misconceptions and to push the boundaries of what is considered possible for a blind person to achieve. The Foundation is devoted to empowering blind and visually impaired young adults through outdoor activities like hiking. Through these programs, Team FarSight Foundation helps participants develop self-confidence and adaptive skills needed to succeed in mainstream society.

Ever optimistic, Thomas feels that every day is an accomplishment, focusing not on what they have done, but on the challenges ahead. He looks forward to taking on these challenges with Tennille by his side, saying, “She makes life more enjoyable because she is my best friend. She helps me to do expeditions that I wouldn’t be able to do by myself. The sky is the limit.”

During the month of September, Team Farsight Foundation will receive $5 from every SPOT Gen3 purchased on FindMeSPOT.com/GuideDog using promo code TENNILLE at checkout. For a limited time when using code TENNILLE between September 1 – 30, SPOT Gen3 will be discounted to $99.99 on its website, a $50 savings! In addition, supporters of Trevor’s inspiration and mission can make a donation to either organization by visiting GuideDogs.com and FarSightFoundation.org.

Posted in dogs, pet stories | 1 Comment