Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bingo's legacy of helping will live on

Dog Whisperer creates fund in her name

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The dog whose bark helped save a boy numerous times and was heard around the world may be gone, but thanks to her young master she'll never be forgotten.

Cesar Millan, the famed Dog Whisperer, said just before his show at the MTS Centre Sunday he was so touched by 11-year-old Cole Hein's love for his dog Bingo -- and by the lick-it list the boy came up with to help his dying dog in her last days -- he wanted to meet him and help him.

"I'm absolutely blown away by your story and by your thoughtfulness," Millan said as met Cole and his family, twin brother Eric and parents Mandi and Dwayne.

"What I tell people is to be there for the pack. Your behaviour shows it... I don't know what inspired you to do it, but I'm glad you did.

"You created a beautiful movement. You managed to make the world come to you -- that's leadership.

"And you did it at 11."

Millan said Cole's story touched him so much he wanted to have his charitable organization, the Cesar Millan Foundation, create the Bingo Hein Legacy Fund.

Jillian Dunn, the foundation's executive director, said the fund will help dogs in future by giving them a place to run in an outdoor dog park at a shelter.

Dunn said once the funds are raised, they hope to build several of the dog parks.

"Being outside is a better environment than a cage," she said.

"Adopters can also come and see the dog playing outside. And, if it is a dog's last day, they can at least spend that day outside.

"This is the same idea as Cole's lick-it list."

Cole told Millan his idea for the lick-it list "just popped out of my mind. I was just expecting to complete a few things. I didn't expect to complete all of them."

Bingo was a Jack Russell terrier trained to bark to alert caregivers to resuscitate Cole whenever the child stopped breathing and gave a distinctive gagging noise.

Cole has an undiagnosed apnea-like disorder. The dog saved Cole's life numerous times, but in September she had to be euthanized a few weeks after being diagnosed with canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

But before Bingo was put down at 14, Cole came up with a dogs' version of a bucket list, including having people around the world send her treats.

After the Free Press published a story about Cole's idea, the story went viral and was featured in publications on and websites around the world, including being mentioned by Today show hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

And the treats poured in from around the world, with hundreds of packages arriving at the post office in Shilo, where the family lives.

Millan said he was touched when the family gave him two special gifts: an original copy of Cole's lick-it list and a fridge magnet with a photo of Cole and Bingo.

"To me, this is like getting the Constitution," Millan said of the list. As for the magnet, "My mom collects magnets so I will give it to her and I will tell her the story and she will cry."

To donate to the fund, go to and follow the links.

Archive video: Bingo the Service Dog - August 2012

video player to use on WFP

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 19, 2012 A5

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