About 6,844 miles away from Beijing, where the U.S. National Team continues to glide their way to the Olympics podium, a rescue dog took to a New York ice-skating rink, where he barked, jumped, and lunged into the hearts of millions on a mission of his own.
Lured by the promise of a big apple, Benny, the ice-skating yellow lab, made his New York debut with a stop at Central Park’s famed Wollman Rink. Front paws donned in custom pup skates and dressed in his finest sponsored gear, Benny scooted his way onto the ice, delighting the crowd as he whizzed by.
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Good Deeds From a Good Boy
However, the 8-year-old good boy wasn’t only there for a good time; he was there to promote good vision, too!
Sponsored by Animal Necessity, the creator of the Ocu-Glo vision supplement that keeps pups’ peepers looking good, Benny put his talents on display in support of the Vision for Animals Foundation, which raises awareness for improving the quality of life for animals through vision enhancement.
Don’t get it twisted, though. Benny is a stand-up influencer who doesn’t just carry an Ocu-Glo stick when he skates — he actually uses the vision supplement himself!
Animal Necessity matches all donations from purchases made in Benny’s name to the Vision for Animals Foundation.
A Ruff Road to the Rink
Benny’s road to the rink wasn’t an easy one. His owner, Cheryl Delsangro, saved him from a Salt Lake City shelter when he was a puppy — only a day before he was scheduled to be put down.
Once he was rescued, it was smooth skating with Delsangro, a former professional ice skater, introducing Benny to the ice after witnessing his natural ability during a photoshoot for the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team!
As Benny slid across the ice on all paws, Delsangro realized she could probably teach him how to skate, saying, “I taught our daughter when she was 17 months old, and I figured Benny had better balance than a toddler. I had not skated for about 15 years since moving to Las Vegas. In essence, this brought my two passions — dogs and skating — together.”
Practice made paw-fect, and not only did Benny learn to stop, skate in reverse, and push his paws out to the sides — he loves doing it!
This isn’t Benny’s first skate around the rink. The figure skating fido has skated with some of the best, including the Golden Knights and even performing at the US Skating Championships.
Follow Benny on Instagram to witness his canine combinations and doggy double axels for yourself!
By Meghan Yani, contributor for Ripleys.com