Eleven-year-old Cole Hein’s life has been saved countless times by Bingo, his 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier.
The dog barks whenever the boy, who suffers from an undiagnosed disorder, stops breathing.
Hein and Bingo, who live in Manitoba, Canada, have been together since 2005. Bingo was originally trained as hearing dog by National Service Dogs, an organization that trains larger dogs to help autistic children, according to a July 2010 story in The Maple Leaf.
When co-founder Danielle Forbes became aware of Hein’s disorder, she trained Bingo to recognize the gagging sound the boy made whenever he stopped breathing, and to bark when she heard it.
Within just six months after his family adopted Bingo, she saved Hein’s life three times.
Two years ago, Bingo was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame as Service Dog of the Year for her heroic efforts.
Unfortunately, Bingo was recently diagnosed with terminal canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome – which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans – and has only a few weeks left to live.
Hein decided to show his gratitude for his beloved pooch by paying it forward with a “lick it list” – the dog version of a bucket list.
“I love my dog,” Hein told the Winnipeg Free Press. “I’ve made a list for her final days on Earth.”
These are the five items on Bingo’s lick it list:
1. Hein would like people to send dog treats from wherever they live so that Bingo can “taste” the world.
2. Take Bingo for one last “public” outing to Ruckers, a local family fun center.
3. To walk around the block twice with Bingo.
4. A photo shoot with just Bingo and Hein.
The list has been very successful so far. The Bingo Hein Facebook group – which was created late last week and now has more than 2,000 members – reports that items 3 and 4 have already been crossed off.
As for No. 1, treats are flowing in from around the world.
“Anything people want to send is okay,” Hein told the Winnepeg Free Press. “Bingo’s a good dog.”
Note that financial donations are not needed and will not be accepted. The Bingo Hein Facebook group suggests that if you are unable to send treats, you can instead make a donation to your local shelter in Bingo’s name.
Send treats for Bingo to:
Cole Hein/Bingo Hein
PO Box 413
Inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.