Santa Paws Is Surfing to Town

Ricochet the Surfing Dog braved the cold ocean surf Wednesday for a good cause.

The golden retriever went into the water at about 10 a.m. at -- where else? -- Dog Beach in Del Mar to help throw a spotlight on the second annual Surfin' Santa Paws Toy Drive for Kids and Critters. Ricochet and a canine friend were at the beach, said Judy Firdono, the executive director of Puppy Prodigies, to raise funds for the Helen Woodward Animal Center and the Children’s Hospital.

“She’s collecting toys and donations toward toys – if it’s a donation she’ll go shopping for people at Toys R Us in her little Santa outfit,” Firdono said, adding, “we started out with a little teaser on Black Friday online with her Facebook fans, and she raised almost $1,700. “

Firdono said Ricochet raised about $3,500 for the event ast year. About 640 or so children got toys.

Ricochet has a video that was posted to YouTube last November. It’s an inspirational video about her journey, said Firdono: She was supposed to be a service dog for someone with a disability, but she likes to chase birds too much, so she had to make a transition from service dog to surf-ace dog. Now, Ricochet helps out by raising funds and awareness of issues.

During Ricochet’s fundraising career – about 15 months in all -- more than $55,000 has been donated to different charities.

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