And Bingo was his name-o!
Many people have created bucket lists, both formal and informal, of activities or goals that they would like to fulfill before they pass away. Cole Hein has taken the bucket list to the next level by creating a list for his dying service dog named Bingo. Cole calls this list the ‘Lick It List’ and it includes all of Bingo’s favorite activities, like eating treats and taking walks. Cole has an apnea-type of sleeping disorder that causes him to stop breathing and Bingo has saved his life many times by alerting Cole’s parents to the danger. Cole and Bingo’s story has inspired people from around the world to send treats to Cole to help fulfill Bingo’s bucket list.
A Boy and His Dog Bingo
Cole Hein, now 11 years old, has had Bingo as his service dog since he was only 2 years old. Bingo became Cole’s service dog in 2005 when it was discovered that Cole has an unknown type of sleep apnea disorder that causes him to stop breathing while he is sleeping. Bingo has been trained to detect when Cole has stopped breathing and to alert Cole’s caregivers or parents when Cole is in danger. According to Cole’s mother, Mandi Hein, Bingo has been allowed to see Cole when he was in the hospital for multiple medical tests, surgeries and hospital stays. She also said that during the difficult times, Bingo has always been there with Cole and it has made a tremendous impact for him. When Bingo is around, Cole never has to face the difficult times alone.
At the beginning of the summer, Bingo was diagnosed with canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome and her veterinarian said she only had a few weeks left to live. When Cole was told of Bingo’s condition, he was determined to make and fulfill a list of activities that Bingo should experience in her last weeks of life. Mandi Hein told reporters the night that Cole was told about the sad news she could hear him talking in his room. She said she thought he might be playing video games but as she continued to listen she realized he was actually having a conversation with Bingo about everything that he wanted to experience with her.
Bingo’s ‘Lick It List’
The ‘Lick It List’ was published to Facebook and contained activities like a walk around Bingo’s favorite block and giving her dog treats from all over the world. Almost a month after the ‘Lick It List’ was published on Facebook, Cole and his family began receiving packages from all over Canada, U.S., China and Australia. The family said there were so many treats that they completely filled the family’s SUV. Cesar Milan, the famous dog psychologist on the TV show ‘The Dog Whisperer’, was so moved by Bingo’s story that he created the Bingo Hein Legacy Fund to help shelter dogs find good homes. Mandi Hein said that Cole wanted to immortalize Bingo and she believes that is exactly what he has done as the story has spread throughout the world. She said that the whole experience has been amazing and she never thought the story would inspire so many people. A simple story about a wish, a boy and his dog has inspired people all across the world.