December 10, 2021

Six months ago, I shared the story of Benny the ice skating dog. Benny is back in the news now after being awarded the American Kennel Club's Award for Canine Excellence (ACE).

Benny is the unofficial mascot and lead cheerleader of the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team. But even better, he does a lot of charity work with children with disabilities:

"He's like a magnet for the kids, and creates an instant comfort zone," DelSangro told the AKC. "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."

Benny also visits Opportunity Village, where he performs special tricks during visits with individuals with various disabilities, AKC reports. DelSangro said the canine interacts with individuals one-on-one and has "an incredible awareness" of when to be excited and when to be gentle.

"He especially relates to children who may have to skate or learn differently, like he does," she explained. "They know he doesn't judge or care how they skate, just that he sees how excited and happy they are when he is with them."

Good job, Benny!

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