Benny the Goldendoodle Is a Smiling, Rolling Dynamo in the 2022 Puppy Bowl
With his cheerful "Hey! How are ya?" expression and wide doggy smile, it's almost as though Benjamin Bunny, a 1-year-old goldendoodle nicknamed Benny, doesn't have a care in the world. That might be true now, but life for this second-chance pooch certainly didn't start that way.
Jennifer Siegel is the founder and director of Bosley's Place, a neonatal rescue orphanage for puppies in Smyrna, Ga. She tells Daily Paws she first received a call from a breeder shortly after Benny was born. The breeder noticed almost immediately that he was different and struggled with mobility.
The breeder's veterinarian suggested euthanizing the young pup, but she instead tried to secure Benny a "happy life," Siegel says. Benny's mother started rejecting him when he was fewer than 2 weeks old, so Siegal stepped in, becoming his first foster mom and bottle-feeding him around the clock. But she didn't mind.
"From the moment he arrived, he has been the sweetest, lovable, and happiest puppy," she says. "Some have even described him as if he sparkles!"
It was difficult for veterinarians to diagnose Benny's condition when he was so young. While there was some movement in his hind legs, he clearly couldn't get around on his own, no matter how hard he tried. So once he was weaned, another foster family took him in—Beth and Joe Williams of Tucker Farm. Together with Siegel, Team Benny was born, focused on finding the best care for the boisterous pooch.
After a series of examinations with specialists, neurologists, and orthopedic surgeons, professionals at a veterinary teaching hospital concluded Benny was born with an abnormal and inoperable spinal deformity. He's paralyzed from the shoulder blades on back.
But the intrepid pup's spirit never faltered. From his early days, he simply wouldn't be left behind. Doggedly determined through rehab, he grew stronger each day, always eager to roll and tumble. Now that he has wheels, he's practically unstoppable!
Time to #BeLikeBenny
"He's helped to inspire people all over the world," Siegel says. "We receive letters of thanks from so many who claim that he has helped them overcome some of their most difficult challenges. When they're down, they think of Benny."
In the amazing video below, the Williams' highlight why even long before he was selected to participate in this year's Puppy Bowl XVIII—airing Sunday at 2 p.m. eastern time on Animal Planet—a social swell of support rose for the movement #BeLikeBenny. He has thousands of followers!
While the Puppy Bowl and its companion the Kitty Halftime Show are some of the best reality television options ever, all players are adoptable, which is the primary goal of these events. Fortunately, there's been a 100 percent success rate for the past 17 years. (However, because the Puppy Bowl was taped weeks ago, the dogs you see might already be adopted.)
More than 100 puppies take the field this year from all over the U.S. but Benny is a ruff 'n ready contender! He's already won the annual 'Pupularity Playoffs'!
Is it any wonder? After all, here's just one example of how much this rolling dynamo lives life to the fullest at his furever home at Tucker Farm.
"Regardless of his disability—what we like to refer to as his special abilities—he never has a bad day. Ever," Siegel says. "No matter what obstacles he faces physically, he overcomes them. He never gives up, is always so happy, and also happy to spread love!"
Well, it's official. We totally want to #BeLikeBenny! How 'bout you?