With just one more day to go until the 2022 Winter Olympics, one plucky pooch is showing the rookies how it's done. Benny the ice skating dog recently made his New York debut at Central Park and it's clear he's one talented pooch.
The 8-year-old Labrador Retriever brought smiles to Wollman Rink with his joyous routine that included hopping over cones and skating around with an ice hockey stick in his mouth, all while partnering with his owner Cheryl Delsangro by his side.
In a recent post on Instagram, the furry star of the rink gives a preview of his performance complete with his very own custom banner with his name on it and his trademark custom-made ice skates.
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The star was in town to raise money for the Animal Vision Foundation, but it's the sheer joy of ice skating that motivates this celebrity hound, according to his handler Rick Vierkandt.
Benny loves to skate and has performed at events all over the country to raise funds for charity and help kids with autism, but it's the smiles of the onlookers that encourages him to perform, a far cry from his own time spent at a dog pound.
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The rescue dog was saved from a rescue shelter in Utah after being there for 6 months with virtually no interest. Following being returned to the shelter the next day after finally being adopted, the dog was taken in by a Lab rescue group's foster program where he met Delsangro who saw his picture on their website.
After adopting Benny, Delsangro noticed the Lab was highly social with both people and other dogs, and had plenty of energy to spare. Noticing that Benny enjoyed high-energy activities such as fetch and playing ball, Delsangro looked to train him.
As someone who grew up ice skating, Delsangro thought that Benny might enjoy it too and initially had the pooch carry the hockey stick and run around on the ice, but Benny proved he was more than capable and took to skating instead.
After receiving his very own dog boots and blades, the dog not only learned to master the art of skating, he also took up special tricks and is now inspiring people all over the world, all while loving what he does.
"He'll just run on the ice whenever he wants and skate around after me and chase me and so he really does like it," Delsangro told ABC7 News.
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Ashleigh is Digital Editor on PetsRadar. With over 8 years of experience in print and digital media, she has acted as an editorial lead on a variety of projects, with animal themes a keen interest. As an avid animal lover, you can often find Ashleigh checking out the newest trends in animal care or looking at cute cat videos on TikTok.