Judy Fridono is a certified dog trainer, CPDT-KA, and the founder of Puppy Prodigies Neo-natal & Early Learning Program www.puppyprodigies.org. She is also the guardian of Surf Dog Ricochet who went from service dog to SURFice dog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGODurRfVv4, and is now committed to facilitating Ricochet's journey. She also has a service dog named Rina who loves to work. http://www.surfdogricochet.com On Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SurfDogRicochet
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Getting to the point in your life where you stop trying to control it, and just let it "be", and finding it's much BETTER than what you thought you wanted. When you're able to look at disappointment and adversity as opportunity. Being among people and animals that have the purest of hearts, and feeling their incredible positive energy radiate throughout the universe! Helping others, and being witness to the tears of joy that it brings them.
If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why?
A dog because I like to be outside and active. I have some physical limitations, and live vicariously through my dogs right now, so being a healthy young dog so full of energy and life would be amazing.
What is your pets most treasured possession?
Me! And vice versa. For my dog Ricochet it would also be the love, support and generosity of all her supporters. She couldn't do the work she does and be successful without them. For Rina, she has a favorite stuffed monkey that she sleeps with ever night.
Your proudest achievement so far?
I made one good decision with my dog Ricochet, and that was to finally let her be who she truly is, rather than trying to make her fit my expectations. I wanted her to be a service dog for a person with a disability, but she has too much chase drive. Once I let go of the expectations, she showed me she has a mission to touch millions of lives, not just one. If I hadn't made that decision, she would have remained stifled, and both of us unhappy and disappointed. Instead, disappointment was replaced with a joyful new direction!
Who are your heroes in real life?
All the folks with disabilities that we work with. Those that don't look at what they can't do, but focus on what they CAN do. And the mother's and fathers that raise these children with a positive attitude. There is one woman who is such an incredible hero, and she's the aunt of a little six year old boy that Ricochet surfs and fundraises for. He suffered a brain injury in a horrible car accident that claimed the lives of his parents. His Aunt "Happy" was a single school teacher, living in another state. She went to the hospital that day, and never went home. She took on the three young children. She never looks at it as a burden, and instead says it's a blessing. She is one of the most selfless people I've ever met, and I'm brought to tear just thinking of her beautiful soul. My other heroes are the people who help Ricochet surf. I'm not physically able to do it, and without them, she couldn't fulfill her mission. They never ask why, they just ask where and when. They are amazing, and are always ready to help anyone in need.