Della & Bingo

Bingo, the ultimate retriever

Service dog brings it 24/7

Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at birth, Della uses a wheelchair and needs help opening doors, picking up items, and reaching for things in the refrigerator. In 2011, she applied for a service dog from FSD, and two years later she was matched with Bingo, a black Labradoodle who lives up to the retriever half of his heritage–and then some–by fetching items that Della needs, large or small.

Bingo came to FSD from PAWS for Life, a private animal shelter in Pueblo, Colorado. Like all FSD service dogs, Bingo was custom-trained by our professional trainers to perform specialized tasks that meet his handler’s unique needs. To augment the devoted care that Della receives from her husband, Scott, Bingo starts every morning by faithfully bringing Della her shoes. He also comes running whenever she drops something on the floor–including critical items like her cell phone or the remote control for her bed—and then picks them up and places them in her lap.

Bingo is trained to tug open the cabinet door where the trash can is kept and put trash in it, push the handicap buttons on doors in public places, and open and close the refrigerator door. Says Della, “It’s so cute how quickly Bingo caught on to the fact that the bottom shelf of the freezer door is where his Frosty Paws treats are kept!”

Most impressively, Bingo is obsessed with taking charge of any packages delivered to Della’s front door. “Bingo sees it as his mission to get them into the house, no matter what size or shape they are,” says Della. “It amazes me when he does that, and the fact that he puts them up on a chair or the couch so I can reach them is even more amazing. It’s his job, but he treats it like it’s play.”

According to Della, Bingo’s life as a highly skilled service dog is filled with useful work that the loving Labradoodle regards as plain old-fashioned fun. “Bingo can play as hard as he works, so I like to make sure he has both in his life, even though I don’t think he knows the difference,” she says. “He is definitely happier when he is doing something for me. Bingo has such an exuberance for life that makes everyone around us smile.”

Adds Della, “Bingo is amazing, and I can’t imagine my life without this sweet, wonderful, silly boy. I feel so safe having him with me, and I love that he is ALWAYS by my side throughout the day, just waiting to help in any way he can. I don’t bother with earrings or necklaces anymore, because Bingo is my beautiful accessory.”

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