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Thread: Bittersweet story of a guide dog who helped his owner when he fell onto subway tracks

  1. #1
    Elite Member smurfette's Avatar
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    Oct 2005

    Default Bittersweet story of a guide dog who helped his owner when he fell onto subway tracks

    A blind man and his guide dog were struck by a subway train in Manhattan on Tuesday after the man lost consciousness and they tumbled on to the tracks, but both escaped without serious injury.

    Cecil Williams, 61, told The Associated Press from his hospital bed that he was on his way to the dentist during the morning rush hour when he felt faint on the 125th Street platform. His guide dog, a black Labrador named Orlando, is trained to protect him from going over the edge.

    "He tried to hold me up," Williams said.

    Witnesses said the dog was barking frantically and tried to stop Williams from falling, but they both fell to the tracks when Williams fainted.

    The train's motorman slowed the subway cars while witness called for help. Williams and Orlando were struck, but not badly hurt.

    "The dog saved my life," Williams said, his voice breaking at times. He also was astonished by the help from emergency crews and bystanders on the platform.

    As Williams regained consciousness, he heard someone telling him to be still. Emergency workers put him on a stretcher and pulled him from the subway, and made sure the dog was not badly injured.

    "I'm feeling amazed," Williams said. "I feel that God, the powers that be, have something in store from me. They didn't take me away this time. I'm here for a reason."

    Police said both Williams and the dog were taken to a hospital where they were expected to recover. Williams says he is not sure why he lost consciousness, but he is on insulin and other medications.

    Orlando, a seriously laid-back dog, was at the hospital making new friends and he will be rewarded with some type of special treat, Williams said, and will be given plenty of affection and scratches behind the ears.

    Williams, of Brooklyn, has been blind since 1995, and Orlando is his second dog. The lab will be 11-years-old on Jan. 5, and will be retiring soon, Williams said. His health insurance will not cover the cost of a non-working dog, so he will be looking for a good home for him.

    If he had the money, Williams said, "I would definitely keep him." : Celebrity News, Celebrity Photos, Exclusives and Star Style

    This is such a sweet story, but the bolded part made so sad. I'm a dog walker and right now I'm taking care of a black lab puppy, Sparky,who is being trained to be a service dog to children. So this story hit home for me because I imagine Sparky will look like Orlando in about 10 years or so. I really hope that Orlando ends up staying with Cecil after his retirement. A few people who commented on the story said they sent it to the Ellen Degeneres show in hopes that Orlando stays with Cecil. I hope for a happy ending.
    Honey likes this.

  2. #2
    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    And now I have a tear in my eye ,must be allergies

  3. #3
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    I have a feeling after the donations pile in this man is keeping that dog!
    Brookie likes this.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  4. #4
    Elite Member Witchywoman's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    vat of chocolate


    The money is there and they will live happy ever after. "he's a very gentle gentleman"

    NEW YORK (AP) — Enough donations have been raised to allow a blind man to keep the aging guide dog that went onto the subway tracks with him when the man lost consciousness and fell from a station platform, officials say.

    "The spirit of giving, Christmas ... exists in New York," a tearful Cecil Williams said Wednesday, calling the outpouring of money and good will a "miracle."
    "It's a time to rejoice," Williams said.
    Michelle Brier, a spokeswoman for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which provides working dogs for free but cannot cover retired dogs' expenses, said Thursday that "as of right now," Williams plans to keep Orlando as a pet after Orlando retires and Williams gets a new working dog early next year.
    Brier added that "it's an emotional time" and the organization will support whatever path he ultimately takes. The family that raised Orlando has said it would be thrilled to take in Orlando if Williams is unable to care for two dogs.
    "I'm not a crybaby or nothing. But my eyes are misty and I'm tearing right now because things like this here don't happen for everybody," Williams said at the hospital. "They should happen. We should care about one another. We should do for one another. But it's not always that way."
    View gallery

    Cecil Williams pets his guide dog Orlando in his hospital bed following a fall onto subway tracks fr …

    Williams expressed gratitude to all of the people involved in his rescue and those who donated money to help him keep his "best buddy."
    "I'd like to say thank you but I'm trying to look for some more words to describe how I really feel," he said.
    He urged the public to support other disabled people who need guide dogs. Guiding Eyes said any leftover donations would be used for that purpose.
    Williams, 61, and Orlando both escaped serious injury Tuesday when they were bumped by a train passing over them — a miraculous end to a harrowing ordeal that began when Williams felt faint on his way to the dentist.
    Witnesses said Orlando barked frantically and tried to stop Williams from tumbling off the platform. Matthew Martin told the New York Post that Orlando leaped onto the tracks as the train approached and licked Williams to entice him to move.
    View gallery

    Cecil Williams cries during an interview as he rests in his hospital bed following a fall onto subwa …

    Williams doesn't remember much about the incident because he lost consciousness. He recalls that Orlando tried to brace him against the fall and thinks momentum may have propelled the harnessed dog onto the tracks with him.
    "He stayed with me. He was licking my face," Williams said. "He's a very gentle gentleman."
    faithanne likes this.

  5. #5
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    Now we are all happier!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  6. #6
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Dec 2006


    Black labs are the most awesome dogs in the world
    Witchywoman and smurfette like this.

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