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Ice-Skating Labrador Retriever Benny Deserves 2021 National Award Of Excellence

Dogs are intelligent. And if they are trained for a job, they can be excellent at it. In Las Vegas, a Labrador Retriever has recently gained popularity for his on-ice performances at Golden Knights NHL Games. The American Kennel Club decided to present to him the “Award for Canine Excellence” (ACE). Let’s get to know more about him and the journey that has led him to this national award.

Source: RICK VIERKANDT/BARK GALLERY

The dog, named Benny, has been playing in hockey games held by NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights since 2018. Regarding his work for the team, photographer Rick Vierkandt asked DelSangro (Benny’s owner) for permission of his appearance in a Golden Knights’ video.

The clip captured a scene the talented dog held a hockey stick in his mouth and pranced around the ice while chasing pucks. By watching it, DelSangro realized that her dog was gifted for skating. He had better balance than a toddler, what he needed was someone who could train him.

“I started to think I could teach him to skate,” said the owner.

It came to DelSangro’s surprise that her Labrador was able to skate even on his first try. Learning that Benny loved the activity, the woman asked her friend to create a set of special skates, with an altered dog boot at the top of the shoe.

Source: BARK GALLERY

Now, two years since he started skating, Benny’s skills improve a lot. A Youtube video by Bark Gallery in January filmed the canine showing off his talents by switching lying-down positions, turning corners, and stopping on his own. Benny could skate in reverse a short distance, and he mostly self-studied (according to his owner).

The dog doesn’t work only for the Golden Knights, but he also joins other local charities, one of which is “Spectrum On Ice”. This is an ice-skating program that provides mental help for autistic and disabled children.

“As one mom told me with tears in her eyes, her son had never touched an animal but petted Benny on the ice, and with a smile on his face, followed him around. That put everything in perspective for me. He’s like a magnet for the kids, and creates an instant comfort zone,” DelSangro told the AKC.

Source: BARK GALLERY

Another meaningful program the canine is working for takes place in Opportunity Village, in which he visits and performs special tricks to cheer up people with disabilities.

For what he’s done, we are sure that Benny deserves the “Canine Excellent Award”.

H/T: People

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