Surf Dog Ricochet recently acquired a new Labrador retriever puppy named Cori. The first time Cori encountered a swimming pool, she was 16 weeks old and terrified. It took time, patience and baby steps, but her fear transcended into a life-saving initiative.
She started showing an instinct for water rescue when she was 9 months old. She is very focused and attentive when kids are in the water, and has a natural tendency to jump in when she hears splashing.
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4. However, the danger of drowning is much higher for children with special needs, specifically those with autism.
Like her predecessor, Ricochet, she has chosen her own life purpose… canine-assisted swimming for kids with special needs.
She works with organizations that teach kids with special needs to swim. Cori is an added benefit to their program and provides assistance like only a dog can!
Cori is able to break down barriers often experienced between swim instructors and students. Some kids have refused to get in the pool with an instructor, but they willingly get in with Cori.
Because Cori had a fear of water herself, she’s able to motivate kids to get over their fear too… “if Cori did it, so can I”.
Parents who have been taking their kids to swim lessons for years are thrilled to see improvement after just one session with Cori.
Kids become more inclined to try things when they know Cori will keep them safe. Cori wears a special lifejacket made for water rescue. There are two handles on the back where the child can hold onto while practicing their kicking, etc.
Because Cori’s lifejacket has multiple handles, she can tow more than one child at a time, making it a fun experience for siblings too.
91-percent of all wandering-related deaths among autistic children are due to accidental drowning. Because of these statistics, Cori also raises awareness of water safety and drowning prevention. Please help her reduce these numbers by sharing this info… and help save a life.