Sometimes it takes an old dog to teach humans new tricks.
In this case, it was world-famous Surf dog Ricochet who helped some Italian water rescue dog trainers learn how to catch some sweet, sweet waves.
Call it a case of dog instructing best friend in the most amazing way.
But it wasn’t just fun and games.
The group also got together to teach Ricochet’s protégé, Aqua Dog Cori, some of their water rescue techniques and other lifesaving skills.
Cori started showing an instinct for water rescue when she was just 9-months-old.
The dog will eventually use her skills working with kids who have autism, special needs, fears or other challenges.
The trainers, Valentina Pilenga and Simone Galbiata, spent five days teaching their water rescue methods to Cori, her handler and a swim instructor.
The work is important.
“During water rescues in Italy, the dog and human are a team. In situations where the ‘victim’ is unable to swim back to shore, the human part of the team holds their face above water as the dog tows both of them back,” SICS says.
The calming effect of an animal can be immediate.
Look how this child, who is clearly scared, immediately calms down when Cori jumps in.
The dogs are trained to jump from boats and helicopters.
“SICS dogs are the only ones in the world that dive into water from helicopters, hovering over the water while providing aid to people in distress,” according to the organization.
It’s amazing, really.
SICS has 350 canine units, which are recognized by the General Command of the Port Authorities and work all along Italy’s beaches.
And they help save more than 30 people each year.
These dogs are pretty special. And Cori is well on her way.
“Although Cori didn’t jump out of a helicopter (yet), the trainers were impressed with her courage and quick learning capacity,” SICS said.