GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – You have probably said to your self many times, “Now I’ve seen everything.”
Well, guess what? You haven’t met Vegas Benny.
Like most labs, Benny is always full of energy and likes to do tricks. He’s always searching a pocket for a good snack.
However, when it comes time for business, like the great Gretsky, he laces up his skates and takes the ice.
Yes, Benny is an ice skating dog.
Making people happy is not a bad achievement for a former shelter dog that was just hours away from being shuffled off this mortal coil.
“He was on the list to be put down the very next day. I saw his beautiful eyes online and contacted a local rescue in Las Vegas and they made arrangements to have him shipped down from Salt Lake to Vegas and we adopted him.” said Benny’s owner, Cheryl DelSangro.
It was Benny’s high energy approach to everything that lead Cheryl to train him to do tricks in the first place.
When the Las Vegas Golden Knights asked fans to make cheer videos for the team, Cheryl who is a former figure skater, took the challenge.
“He ran around on ice with just his paws and he pretended to block a puck at the goal and he carried a stick and he really had fun out there.” DelSangro said. “So on the way home, I thought, ‘I bet I can teach that dog how to ice skate.”‘
Benny took right to it, doing tricks and carrying around a hockey stick. His best trick, however, is how he interacts with others, especially children.
Benny skates with children learning how to ice skate and with special needs children who sometimes need chairs or support on the ice.
Delsangro says he shows them that anyone, no matter what their style, can enjoy being on ice.
“Anybody can relate to how he skates. Whether they have a disability or not, they all see that, well, he can do it and he doesn’t skate traditionally so they fit right in” DelSangro said.
DelSangro says Benny does a lot of work with children in Vegas who see him as not just a dog, but a friend.
Benny helps people become braver so they can take on challenges.
“He’s really a remarkable dog. He’s changed our lives for the good and I hope for other people too.” DelSangro said.
You can see Benny skate at the Garfield Heights Rec Center on Saturday, Nov. 6 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.