Santa "Paws" comes to San Diego on a surfboard - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Santa "Paws" comes to San Diego on a surfboard

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Santa Claus has come to town a few weeks early, but it's not the big-bellied, white-bearded Santa you're probably thinking of. We're talking about "Santa Paws", and he arrived at Dog Beach Wednesday morning.

Riding a surfboard instead of a sled, a golden retriever named Ricochet wants to wish you a white wash Christmas.

Judy Fridono raised Ricochet to be a service dog, but as the pup grew, so did her instinct to chase birds, which could be a danger to those with disabilities. So Judy taught Ricochet to surf.

Wednesday's unlikely Santa surf session could potentially raise tens of thousands of dollars. In the past year, Ricochet raised $55,000 after turning into a YouTube sensation with nearly 3 million hits. Last year, Ricochet surfed with quadriplegic Patrick Ivison and raised $10,000

Lynne Austin used to work with Connie Chung and Dan Rather, so she knows a feel-good surf dog story when she sees it.

"He was great because when the waves break here they dissipate very quickly and he rode it all the way, and then even when another wave came behind it he was able to keep his balance and stay, so he is very talented," Lynne said.

Holding Spike the head elf is Jocelyne Taylor from the title sponsor

"You have to give, it doesn't make any sense not to," she said.

Which is why Judy Fridono and her golden giver choose to ride the holiday spirit.

"I don't know, to me it's better to give than receive," Judy said.

The Kids and Kritters Foundation raises money for Rady Children's Hospital and the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

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