Meet Cori, a nine-month-old yellow Labrador retriever puppy who has shown a natural instinct for water rescue. 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. Cori’s love of water, instinct to rescue, and adoration of people, has made her an ideal dog to work in canine-assisted swimming for kids with special needs.
Cori, who a protégé of Surf Dog Ricochet, used to be terrified of the water, but she overcame her fear and now she is instrumental in helping kids overcome their own water-related fears.
Cori is a natural for water rescue – when kids are in the water, she is focused and attentive and she will jump in herself when she hears splashing. This intuitive pup will then take it upon herself to bring whoever is struggling in the water to safety.
Cori does more than save lives – she also works with swim instructors to help fearful children overcome barriers. When Cori is present, children are more likely to willingly wear their life-jackets (even goggles!) and get into the water with their instructors.
In the pool, Cori frequently checks in with the child, and she will circle around them until they grab hold of her life-vest. Cori’s very presence is enough to encourage uncertain kids to try things that they were previously unwilling to consider.
Cori’s canine-assisted swimming is part of Ricochet’s Waves of Empowerment program so beach activities also include surfing with Ricochet, mock water rescue, towing, safety awareness, water games, retrieval exercises and more.
Cori helps kids relax and have fun, while learning about water safety. Learn more about Surf Dog Ricochet’s Canine-Assisted Swimming Program here.
Learn more about Waves of Empowerment at this link.
See Cori in action in the video below: