Young Cole Hein, 11, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is expressing his thanks to his loyal companion, Bingo, who has helped save his life time and time again.
Bingo, a 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier, became a part of the Hein family in 2005 after the Canadian National Service Dog organization heard of Cole’s unique medical condition.
Cole has an undiagnosed disorder that makes him suddenly stop breathing when he is asleep. It also happens when he is awake as well. To revive him, Cole requires someone to perform CPR.
Although he still suffers from the condition, years later Cole has learned ways to work through it himself.
When the National Service Dogs organization heard of Cole’s condition, the co-founder trained her own Jack Russell to work with Cole. Bingo is trained to bark when he hears Cole make a distinct gagging sound that signals Cole has stopped breathing. This alerts Cole’s parents and caregivers to assist him.
Mandi states she overheard Cole creating the lick it list for Bingo, after their veterinarian informed the family that Bingo has Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome and only has weeks left to live.
“He told me he is making a lick it list so I said ‘oh, a dog’s version of a bucket list’ and he said he didn’t know what that was,” Mandi said.
Bingo’s lick it list asks people all over the world to send wet canned dog food to the family’s home. Cole states it’s so Bingo can “taste the world.”
“Anything people want to send is OK,” he said. “Bingo’s a good dog.”
After a story ran in a local Winnipeg newspaper, 65 people joined the Bingo Hein Facebook group to help the family cross off different listings on Bingo’s bucket list.
“Cole is doing the happy dance,” said Mandi.
“He is teasing Bingo about her new treats coming. This is a huge thing for Cole. I tried (to get word out) and got one thing — from his grandmother in Australia,” said Mandi.
If you would like to help Cole fulfill Bingo’s lick-it list, go to Facebook and search Bingo Hein. Or you can send treats c/o Bingo Hein to P.O. Box 413, Shilo, MB, R0K 2A0.
The family has requested that people do not send any money to them as they have covered Bingo’s vet bills.