Local greyhound races his way to national competition

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Beni the greyhound is a very good boy and an even better competitor racing around the track, but when the track shut down in 2021, two friends were left jobless.

What Beni and his owner Sandy McMillan were left with will last a lifetime.

Beni, a 5-year-old greyhound, has enough ribbons to let everyone know how fast he is.

“It doesn’t matter if he’s competing against only the clock or other dogs, he’s in it to win it,” said McMillan.

greyhound racing
Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound racing track. CREDIT: WINK News

McMillan met Beni when the two were at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track, where Beni was in McMillan’s kennel.

“In the mornings, when I was cleaning, before it came time to mop the floor, I would let him out and let him help me clean, and we had our own special moments together, and time went on and I think we fell in love with each other from the first day,” said McMillan.

When Greyhound Racing shut down in 2021, the two became inseparable.

“We both lost our livelihoods together, so we came home together,” said McMillan.

Meanwhile, Beni continued racing in amateur events.

“I just couldn’t stand the thought of him not doing his, what he was meant to do in his life,” said McMillan.

In May, the two went up to South Carolina for the American Kennel Club Fastest Dogs Competition. The event will air on national television on Saturday.

“It was truly amazing. All of the cameras, all of the production that goes into an event like that,” said McMillan. “That is what I have wanted for him. That’s what he deserves.”

McMillan couldn’t spoil how Beni finished, but she did share a memorable moment from the experience.

“We had dogs running. People going by, all kinds of commotion when the event was going on, and he’s out there in the grass on his back with all his legs up in the air, and he just does not care. As long as he gets to compete and run, he’s happy,” said McMillan.

McMillan said most of Beni’s competitions have been in Florida, so to be able to compete on a national stage and represent the state is an honor.

Update: Beni placed second place in the competition.

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