It’s July and you know what that means…it’s time to announce the new Lavasox Dog of the Month! Drum roll please…the new Dog of the Month is…Rico! He is an 80 pound Black Mouth Cur from Coon Rapids, MN. He is also popularly known as Rico Suave, not to be confused with the 1990 single sung by Gerardo…although he was pretty popular too. He is originally from Missouri and was transported to Minnesota at 3 months old so that he could find his new mom.
Finding Rico was bittersweet because Rico’s new mom had recently said goodbye to her Boxer, Tyson. Anyone who has had to say goodbye to a dog knows the silence that is left behind in the house. Rico’s mom needed to fill that silence with a new friend in her life…and along came Rico.
Rico starts his day with a big stretch and an obnoxiously loud velociraptor yawn. Beeker, as he is also known, loves to play tug rope, go swimming in the rivers and all of the Minnesota lakes and sleep, of course. And food? He likes whatever you’re eating. Rico’s mom keeps horses on the farm and he is lucky enough to be able to take advantage of hours of playtime in the wide open spaces and run with the horses and other dogs. In the evenings he enjoys snuggling on the couch with his yellow duck. Prince, another one of Rico’s aliases, spends his nights cuddled in bed with mom, dad and his little sister, Zara, a 7 month old mixed breed rescue. Zara looks up to Bubba Doggit (you guessed it, Rico) as a big brother not only because he is taller than her, but on how to be the best girl she can be.
When Rico’s mom met him, she knew that he was completely in-tune with her. She feels that Rico is always looking to her as to say, “What’s next, Mom?” Well what was next was really something special and something I’m sure Rico never expected to happen to him. He became a very important piece of his mom’s life. He became a Psychiatric Service Dog!
Rico helps mom with her anxiety by interrupting emotional overloads by licking her and putting his paws on her legs to help ground her. He will guide her to a quiet area where he provides Deep Pressure Therapy (DPT). To perform this therapy he will lay across her legs or press against her chest. American Service Pets explains that DPT is similar to using a weighted blanket and is most effective when pressure is applied to legs, feet or the chest. DPT increases happiness hormones, decreases heart rate and stress and regulates and calms the body. Goal Book says that DPT should be used regularly throughout the day if you do not feel in control of your body and whenever you feel anxious.
While mom is at work, Rico will make himself at home on his bed under mom’s desk or sprawled out in the sun on the office floor. When it’s time to take a walk break in the summer sun, Rico likes to wear his Lavasox in Citrine to keep his paws cool.
Rico is so much more than Suave. He is a role model, a runner, a swimmer and an essential part of his family’s life. He came from uncertain beginnings to having a future that is full of possibilities. We can’t wait to see what is next for Rico! -Team Saltsox