POLITICS

'Bingo will go to heaven:' sick Manitoba dog with life-giving bark put down

09/19/2012 01:42 EDT | Updated 11/19/2012 05:12 EST
SHILO, Man. - A Manitoba boy who has life-threatening seizures has had to say goodbye to his specially trained dog — a friend and companion who saved the youngster's life on many occasions.

"Bingo will go to heaven on a marshmallow cloud that will have a chocolate water slide for dogs," Cole Hein, 11, said in a written statement Wednesday.

"Bingo will ask God if he could help the dogs on Earth more by helping dogs living in pounds, shelters (and) rescue groups get good homes with loving new moms and dads and children, who will love them as much as I love Bingo."

The Jack Russell terrier's health was deteriorating because of canine dementia and she was euthanized Tuesday at age 14. The dog was trained to bark loudly to alert Cole's parents or others every time he stopped breathing due to a condition like sleep apnea.

She had been at Cole's side since 2005.

"I owe Cole's life ... to Bingo saving (him) countless times," said the boy's mother, Mandi Hein.

Cole and the dog made international headlines after a story published in the Winnipeg Free Press detailed the boy's version of a bucket list for his dog. Cole called it a lick-it list and asked people to send Bingo treats from around the world.

The two were featured in People magazine, on NBC and elsewhere. Their touching story prompted interest from animal activist Cesar Millan, who has established a fund in Bingo's name to aid abused and abandoned dogs.

"Although it is a tremendously difficult time for us, Cesar Millan has made everything easier through the support of the Cesar Millan Foundation and by even taking the time to reach out directly to Cole via phone," Mandi Hein said.

"Cesar’s words have given us the strength to help get through (a) difficult time."

Cole will soon have another dog with a special bark. MSAR, a non-government search and rescue organization with a special canine program, trained Bingo and is already working with a dog named Neekan who will be given to the family soon.