Meet the world’s first ice-skating dog – a sweet Labrador Retriever named Benny, who was rescued as a puppy from euthanasia.
Benny has been learning to skate for a year after his human, former skating coach Cheryl Del Sangro took him along to a practice on a whim. She and a friend suggested they make a fan video for Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL team that made it to the Stanley Cup.
They shot a video of Benny running on the ice carrying a hockey stick and puck, but not really skating.
Then Del Sangro made him a pair of skates. After some agility training, Benny was carefully taken onto the rink. He took to the ice and his skates quite quickly.
“I just started teaching him the same as teaching a small toddler and incredibly he took right to it. He was able to stand and skate on his own the first day we tried it,” Del Sangro told PEOPLE. “He continues to improve all the time.”
She says that when she first saw Benny, it was instant love.
“He had spent six months in a kill shelter in Utah and eventually was put on the euthanasia list. A local Las Vegas rescue had pulled him on his last day and transported him to Las Vegas but nobody had put in to adopt him,” she said. “But as soon as I saw his eyes in the photo I knew he was meant for me. I filled out the forms, finally got to meet him and it was instant love.”
Benny also likes going on the ice without the skates to cool down his paws.