Bingo the Service Dog's "Lick-It List" Goes Viral
For nine years, a Jack Russell named Bingo has had an exemplary run as the service dog to 11-year-old Cole Hein, who suffers from an undiagnosed condition that causes him to stop breathing. Indeed, Cole's parents have "lost track" of the number of times Bingo has alerted them when Cole started gasping. In the probation period alone, beginning when Cole was just 2, Bingo saved the boy three times.
Bingo is a hero dog through and through -- but even hero dogs need help.
Earlier this summer, the 14-year-old dog, afflicted with seizures and failing eyesight, received bad news from the vet: Bingo suffered from cognitive dysfunction syndrome, and the vet gave her weeks to live.
The family was devastated. Cole, who now can cope with his illness without assistance, wanted to send off his friend the proper way -- with a "lick-it list," the canine version of a "bucket list."
“He went to bed that night and I heard him talking,” Cole’s mom, Mandi Hein, told CTV News. “I thought at first he was playing his video games. I listened and he was actually talking with Bingo about all the things he wanted to do with her.”
Among the items on the list:
- Dog treats from around the world -- "so that Bingo can 'TASTE' the world."
- One last visit to Ruckers to play video games.
- One last walk around the block.
- A photo shoot with Cole and Bingo.
Mandi Hein posted the list online, where it simmered for a few weeks. Then it exploded, going viral.
The treats began to arrive, first from Canada, and then from places around the world; the dog's Facebook group swelled to 12,000 members; and the story even reached the boozy, fourth hour of the Today show.
Where do those treats go? No, not on eBay. Cole is made of better stuff than that. The boy sends bags full to Winnipeg’s animal services shelter, so other less-fortunate dogs can have nice treats. And the Dog Whisperer's Cesar Milan even stepped in, helping to create the Bingo Hein legacy fund, which will raise money to train service dogs and abandoned animals, according to CTV News.
Cole and Bingo, meanwhile, have been working on that lick-it list.
“There’s still one more thing we haven’t completed on the list," Cole told CTV News. "Her last public outing.”
The pair still have to make that trip to play video games together.
"It's a bittersweet story. It's taking a negative and turning it into a positive," Cole's mother told the Winnepeg Free Press. "One child, one dog, one world. That's the way I see it."
If you want to help give Bingo a taste of the world, visit her Facebook page and click on the About link to find a mailing address.
Via CTV News