Benny, the Labrador Retriever, may not be eligible for the Winter Olympics, but he could probably give some of the athletes a run for their money on the ice. This dog can really skate, and that’s why he’s known as “Benny the Ice Skating Dog.”
The 8-year-old Lab wears custom-fitted skates on his front two paws. He can slide and leap over cones with ease, often while holding a hockey stick between his teeth.
Benny’s moves on the ice are something you just have to see with your own eyes. Here’s a video from the ice King’s Instagram page:
Benny Loves To Skate
Cheryl Delsangro, Benny’s mom, is a former professional skater. Delsangro hadn’t skated for close to 15 years since moving to Las Vegas. When Benny learned to skate, she said it “brought [her] two passions – dogs and skating – together.”
“We had no idea that he would be able to skate the first try or that he would love being on the ice, enjoy the cold, even though he thrives on swimming in the heat. What I didn’t expect was his desire to chase after me. It was almost like he was copying me.”
Delsangro also notes that skating is something the dog genuinely enjoys. He’s not being forced to perform or anything like that.
“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.”
Plus, he apparently “likes the cold” and “really enjoys the gliding” aspect. Even the mere mention of skating excites Benny.
“If you just mention, “let’s go skating” or you get his skating bag out, he goes nuts. He’ll take his bag to the door and he even takes his skates out of the bag sometimes.”
Benny has gotten a lot better since he first learned to glide on the ice. Delsangro explained:
“He no longer goes front to back with his skates but pushes out to the sides. Also, he has taught himself to stop, with a reverse snowplow move. He has also learned to skate in reverse a short distance. To a major degree, he is self-taught.”
Returning To The Ice And Raising Money With His Talents
Delsangro said Benny missed being on the ice during lockdown, when ice rinks were closed. Now that they’ve begun reopening again, Benny is back to showing off on skates.
Beyond just showing off his skills, Benny uses them for good. The ice skating dog recently visited Central Park in New York City, where he skated to raise money for the Animal Vision Foundation.
Benny’s handler Rick Vierkandt told ABC News:
“Benny was saved on his last day at a kill shelter in Utah so we share what rescue dogs can be and how important that is.”
In addition to his appearance in Central Park, Benny has performed at events all over the country, raising funds for charity. Benny even received the American Kennel Club Exemplary Companion Award in 2021.