Corporal Nero, a bomb-sniffing dog with US Special Forces, stole the show Sunday night as the Anaheim Ducks hosted the Calgary Flames at the Honda Center.
Every year the Ducks hold a military appreciation night and this year’s “Salute to Service” was cuter than ever—thanks to a perfect puck drop by this hero dog.
Nero’s handler, Lance Corporal Brandon Benningfield, just made a simple motion with his hand, indicating to his partner –who had the puck safely secured in his mouth –to let it go.
As the puck dropped to the ice, the crowd erupted in cheers.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf showed his appreciation by giving Nero a nice little head rub before shaking hands with the members of the military who participated in the puck drop. Canadian soldiers from the Canadian Special Operations Force command and US Special Forces soldiers from the US Special Operations detachment north joined the two US Marines on the ice during the ceremonial faceoff.
Nero was acquired at the age of one by the Dept of Defense, according to the NHL announcer. Upon graduating from dog training school, he reported to Camp Pendleton for official duty as a bomb-sniffing police officer.
As the participants made their way onto the ice on Sunday night, the hockey announcer shared a few more tidbits about the surprise star of the night. “His favorite things are: finding bombs, having his ears scratched, and playing fetch,” Ducks PA announcer Phil Hulett said.
As the NHL put so succinctly on their Facebook Page, this was the “BEST. FACE OFF. EVER”
Thank you for your Service, Corporal Nero.
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