A 10-year-old US boy’s bond with a specially trained surfing dog has been credited with inspiring him to help others.
California boy West Butner was six when he first met Ricochet as part of the Waves of Empowerment (WoE) program, which strives to use surfing to empower people with disabilities.
As part of the program, participants ranging from children with disabilities such as autism, to returned veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sit atop a surfboard and catch some waves with Ricochet, the golden retriever.
West’s mother Lauren Chavez told 9news.com.au that at the time of the meeting her son was “pretty severely impaired”, but after several rides she saw him go from being a “hermit” to readily talking to others and making friends.
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