Ricochet is able to instantly bond with anyone who interacts with her because she has such an intuitive spirit. She is also very perceptive, so she can independently detect and alert service members and veterans to their physiological, emotional and psychological changes even if they don't know they're happening. She’s able to recognize, interrupt, engage and redirect, and then intervene to help them cope.
I sometimes wonder how Ricochet knows a service member's triggers... sometimes before they are even consciously aware a trigger is in the environment. I wonder if she can "see" their flashbacks.
There are some things that Ricochet has done that just can't be explained. It’s almost like she’s psychic and can predict what is going to happen before it does.
For instance, one day, Ricochet was working with a marine who we’d just met. After about an hour, we went outside for a doggie bathroom break. We were walking across the parking lot, and Ricochet planted twice. As always, we looked around to see what she might be alerting to. But the only thing we saw was other participants and volunteers. So we just let it go.
But once we were back inside, the marine had a light bulb moment and realized Ricochet had stopped because there was a black truck parked in the direction we were headed. He said black vehicles are triggers for him. This time she was alerting before the service member even knew what was happening.
A few months ago Ricochet was working with a marine. He was the most intense service member we worked with since we began this program. He couldn't even take one step without her planting.
I learned a great deal about him through Ricochet's behavior. He was the type that everyone thinks is fine because he hides it so well. He's the type that would take his life by suicide like the 22 veterans who do every single day, and everyone would be shocked.
He could fool a lot of people that he was fine. But you can't fool Ricochet. She doesn't live life on the surface. She goes way deep into the caverns of a person's being. This marine was able to reach those deep places.
There was a time Ricochet was working with Randy in a large store when she suddenly stopped. She wouldn’t budge. She was much more deliberate in her alerting behavior than usual. The back of the store was empty. Why would she alert us when there weren’t any people around? We tried several different things to get her moving again. But nothing worked. I stepped a few yards ahead, and that’s when I saw it—what Ricochet already knew was there. Directly over my head was large metal scaffolding above a two-tiered bicycle display with a heavy metal beam that swung from the end of it. Randy had told me previously that he hit his head on the metal partition of a Humvee in Iraq when a bomb went off in front of the vehicle. But how could Ricochet know that? Had she truly taken in his experiences, his memories, his trauma? Even if she hadn’t, how could she possibly know about the metal beam, two full aisles away, which was beyond her scope of vision?
For several weeks in April, each night when we went to bed to watch tv, Ricochet would stand next to the bed, staring at me. She was relentless in her staring, and I even held a pillow in front of my face, but the staring continued. At first, I thought she had to go outside, so I let her out. But, she stayed outside longer than it should have taken to toilet. It was dark, so I couldn't see what she was doing. But, it was like she just wanted to be out of the house. When I'd call her back in, she would continue to stare at me.
I knew she was trying to tell me something, but I just couldn't figure out what. Finally, I figured it out. Rina was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on her colon and needed to have it removed right away. Ricochet was alerting me to the tumor before we even knew there was a problem. Once Rina came home after the surgery, Ricochet sniffed her a bit, and then went and laid down. She realized the tumor was gone, and she was no longer staring at me.
Because Ricochet is an empath, and she can feel the pain and emotions of others, she took on Rina's tumor. After it was removed, Ricochet had a bout of colitis (inflammation of the colon). She too, was releasing the negative energy of the tumor that she had taken on during Rina's illness.
Sometimes Ricochet's intuition scares me. Not in a bad sense, but just the power of it all. Last night she was outside and I was watching tv. She came in and was wanting me to follow her outside. She does this thing where she takes a step backwards, and then she starts walking, looking back at me several times to make sure I'm following her. She knows the cue "show me" so I said that, and she led me outside. When I got there, nothing was there.
But, she went and stood by the fence looking at our neighbors patio, and then looking back at me. I could tell from her behavior that she was wanting me to get the neighbor. So, I called Robin on the phone & asked if everything was ok over there. She came outside and I told her what Ricochet was doing. Their mom (grandma to my dogs) had complications from eye surgery and has been in bed all week. So I immediately asked about her. Robin said she and her brother were just talking about their concerns since they are worried about her eyesight. Apparently Ricochet felt their concerns and needed to check on them because as Robin and I spoke, she began chewing on a stick. Mission accomplished. This time, she wasn't even in the presence of the person she was alerting to.
One day Ricochet was working with a marine on an agility course. The marine was having a lot of pain in her neck and back from an auto accident earlier that week. Ricochet kept stopping in her tracks during the exercise. I figured she was alerting to the marine's pain.
But, a few days later, the marine contacted me and said she just got back from the doctor and found out she had actually fractured her spine the day of the accident. Ricochet—somehow knew that the marine shouldn't have been partaking in those physical activities.