Manitoba boy thanks dying dog with ‘lick it list’

11-year-old Cole Hein has come up with a unique way of thanking his dog for saving his life.Cole Hein, 11, owes his life to Bingo, a 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier. And now that Bingo's life is coming to an end, Cole wants the world to help him thank his dog.

Cole has a life-threatening undiagnosed disorder in which he sometimes stops breathing while sleeping or awake, requiring him to be monitored 24 hours a day.

In 2005, Bingo, a trained hearing dog, was adopted by Cole's family to monitor the young boy. Bingo was taught to identify the distinct gagging sound Cole makes when he stops breathing, and to bark to alert parents or caregivers when it happens.

"Bingo has given us so much. There isn't enough that can be done for a dog that saves my son's life," Cole's mother, Mandi Hein, told the Toronto Sun in 2010. "It has been a long run, but when I kiss Cole good night I don't have to worry anymore that I am kissing him goodbye."

Because Bingo saved Cole's life countless times — Bingo saved his life three times in her first six months with the family — she was inducted into the 2010 Purina Hall of Fame.

Bingo was recently diagnosed with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome and has just weeks to live. Cole wants to honour the dog's life of service with a bucket list — dubbed a "lick it list."

"I love my dog," Cole told the Winnipeg Free Press. "I've made a list for her final days on Earth. I want to take her on one last public outing to Ruckers. I want to walk her around the block twice. And I want to get her treats from around the world."

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Through the Winnipeg Free Press, Cole asked people to send Bingo wet canned dog food from around the world:

"Anything people want to send is OK," he said. "Bingo's a good dog."

Almost immediately, 65 people joined the Bingo Hein Facebook page, eager to help fulfill the "lick it list." The group now has over 600 members.

"Cole is doing the happy dance," Mandi told the Winnipeg Free Press on Sunday. "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."

(Family photo)