Covid & suicide: Therapy dog offers helping paw and more

May 8, 2020 at 8:01 pm

Surfing therapy dog Ricochet is offering virtual canine therapy & video conferencing to all populations affected by coronavirus


April 29, 2020 – Certified therapy dog and champion surf dog, Ricochet is offering FREE virtual canine therapy and video conferencing sessions to doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers and first responders in an effort to reduce anxiety and prevent suicide.


In addition, she is providing comfort and healing to families who experienced the unfathomable reality of not being there when a loved one passed from covid-19, as well as essential workers, seniors in nursing homes and school children affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 


Teachers, home school educators and parents can find fun educational lessons through Ricochet’s ​​Paws on learning activities as well.


To schedule a session, send an email to Ricochet’s guardian, Judy Fridono at Or, if time is limited, visit Ricochet’s virtual canine therapy web page.


In every other crisis, therapy dogs are called upon to provide comfort and healing. But, due to social distancing and quarantine, animal assisted therapy programs have been suspended.


“At a time when dogs could be truly valuable resources, we’re thinking outside the box in an effort to offer some form of canine therapy to the millions of people around the world who need it,” said Fridono.


Ricochet’s virtual canine therapy program is multi-faceted. First, there is a web page that has close-up photos of her eyes coupled with calming music. Hundreds of individuals who have visited the page have reported they felt a calm, connected state of being. Eye contact is one of the anxiety-reducing techniques that Ricochet uses in her face-to-face therapy dog sessions with service members and veterans with PTSD. Gazing into a dog’s eyes stimulates the release of oxytocin—a hormone associated with positive, happy feelings. Cultivating these moments allows for deep experiences of connection regardless of whether physical contact is made.


Another facet of the program is video conferencing which uses apps such as Zoom, FaceTime and Skype. These sessions are offered to families who lost a loved one to covid-19, doctors, nurses, frontline workers and anyone else suffering a loss or feeling stressed and anxious. Ricochet provides a calm demeanor of comfort and support where a participants emotions can be safely released as they are spun into a cocoon of positive energy, healing and recovery.​


The most recent facet added to the program is Paws on Learning activities with Ricochet. This facet is for children of all ages and also uses video conferencing. Kids can talk to Ricochet while doing activities like reading to her, coloring pictures of her, teaching her tricks, show & tell, boredom busting, Q&A’s and more. Many kids know her from the IMAX film, Superpower Dogs that she’s in. Although movie theaters are closed due to the pandemic, kids can still interact with Ricochet from the safety of their own home! They can watch the movie trailer, download the activities booklet and view a behind-the-scenes video. 


It is critical to recognize that the Covid-19 pandemic is a source of great physical, psychological, and emotional distress for front line workers as well as individuals and communities around the world. There will likely be doctors, nurses, and others who will need treatment for anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, and more resulting from this crisis. Then there is the rest of the world that is feeling the panic of losing jobs, being ordered to stay home, and having an uncertain future.


Ricochet’s virtual canine therapy will support individuals NOW, as well as into the future. But, she needs your help to reach those who need her services. Please share this information and the program with your followers. Let’s help the world at large take a few minutes to breathe and decompress… Lets reduce anxiety and prevent suicide… through the healing power of a dog. 


Ricochet thanks you for your support.


Ricochet has more than eight years of experience providing human-animal intervention for active duty service members recovering from combat PTSD, moral injury, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. She also works with kids on the autism spectrum and other special needs, differently abled individuals, wounded warriors and adaptive surfers.


Note: For more information, please contact Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679 or at


Learn more about Ricochet at and follow her on social media at @SurfDogRicochet