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Her segment focuses on her Waves of Empowerment program that connects veterans with PTSD  and kids with special needs for a day of canine-assisted surf therapy and emotional healing.
Ricochet, the surfing sensation, who is also a registered and certified therapy dog, is set to star in a new film entitled “Superpower Dogs”. The film will bring extraordinary dogs to life on giant IMAX screens. Ricochet’s segment included two days of filming at the beach, and one day at Balboa Park. The film is scheduled to be released in March, 2019.
The film is aiming to be the best movie ever told about extraordinary real life dogs who save lives, protect us from danger and make our world a better place. The featured canines include search and rescue, avalanche rescue and water rescue. Dogs that sniff out wildlife poachers in Kenya will also be highlighted. These dogs rescue people from physical trauma.
Ricochet, on the other paw, rescues people from emotional trauma, such as PTSD. Every 65 minutes a veteran with PTSD takes their life by suicide! It is because of these staggering statistics that Ricochet is participating in the film. Her hope is that more light will be shed on our military war heroes who are suffering in silence, and how much dogs can help in their recovery.
Ricochet’s segment will focus on her ability to enrich the well-being of veterans with PTSD and children with special needs through the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of a dog.
The movie will utilize 3D cameras and computer graphics so that audiences may experience the world through the eyes, ears, and nose of a dog.
The IMAX camera is attached to the end of a crane that swivels 360 degrees.
Talk about 3D close-ups!
The director donned a wetsuit and got in the water to capture “that perfect shot”.
All the “extras” on set were kids, families and the water team that have been on Ricochet’s journey over the last 10 years.
An IMAX version of a GoPro was mounted to Ricochet’s Surftech surfboard.
This production assistant now has “belly rubs” in his job description!
Get ready for this 3D cinematic experience as Ricochet surfs right into your seat!
Ricochet’s story of profound emotional healing will be told through the experiences of Staff Sergeant Persons B. Griffith IV (Griff), a Marine combat veteran with PTSD, her guardian, Judy Fridono, and two seven year old boys, Kennie Alvarez who has autism, and Logan Powell who has sensory processing disorder.
Ricochet and Griff met through a six-week canine therapy clinic provided by Paws’itive Teams, and Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Wounded, Ill and Injured Wellness Program (WII).
After the clinic ended, Griff volunteered for Ricochet’s Waves of Empowerment program. An all-inclusive initiative that connects veterans and kids through the challenges they face… taking them from the battleground to the playground.
Each veteran becomes a mentor, and is paired one-on-one with a child for a day of paws-on healing through canine-assisted surf therapy, and other empowerment building activities. It has been found that being of service to another individual provides a sense of self-worth as well.
Confidence, trust and empowerment become the cornerstone of the surf session.
To that end, Griff gains new purpose by mentoring and encouraging Logan and Kennie to surf with Ricochet.
The boys also benefit by gaining their own personal hero as they become more confident, social and of course, empowered!
As Griff and the boys interact, it becomes clear how much more alike they are than different. These young boys and this marine… held hostage by their inner turmoil. All three battle an invisible challenge. And while scientists and specialists don’t always know what could help, Ricochet always does.
For example, when Ricochet senses Griff’s anxiety, she initiates eye contact which releases oxytocin, a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain to reduce stress and anxiety.
Ricochet’s segment also chronicles the subtle and not so subtle behaviors she uses to communicate Griff’s physical or emotional distress. Fridono interprets the behavior, and Griff validates it.
This three-way communication helps Griff identify deep seated emotional trauma which he addresses with his therapists. As a result, his healing process advances more quickly.
Because the filmmakers were able to capture raw emotion from Griff, and corresponding behaviors from Ricochet, you’ll be able to see how she acted like a mirror, reflecting back his feelings, while displaying her empathy and intuition. This is how she detects and alerts to his triggers, anxiety and stress.
You’ll also see how she took responsibility for Griff, and prevented him from going in to situations that were overwhelming for him. She was able to avert panic attacks, melt downs and other anxiety provoking behavior.
It’s Ricochet’s wish that her segment will be the catalyst that gives hope to veterans with PTSD who are suffering in silence or contemplating suicide, as well as anyone else who is faced with emotional, physical or cognitive challenges.
Fridono believes all dogs have these healing powers. Unfortunately, we often misinterpret their cues as bad behavior. In doing so, we miss the magic every dog is capable of. Her hope is that others will gain a better understanding of the sentience of dogs, and how they are always communicating with us… we just have to listen.
Contact: Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679 or [email protected].
To learn more about the Superpower Dogs film, go to
To learn more about Ricochet, go to, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To read more about her healing power, check out her book, Ricochet: Riding a Wave of Hope With the Dog Who Inspires Millions.
To learn more about the weekly canine therapy program that Ricochet is part of, please go to Paws’itive Teams and the Naval Medical Center San Diego’s canine therapy program.
To unleash your own dog’s healing power, go to


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