The hero guide dog is also an example of how age does not necessarily relate to performance. As certain people and pups get older, they continue to deliver top quality service. When 60-year-old Cecil Williams fainted and fell on the subway tracks in a Harlem neighborhood, his 11-year-old guide dog, Orlando, jumped down after him as a train was approaching.
The dedicated black Labrador saved his owner. Orlando had tried to hold his owner up as he passed out. Williams clutched his furry friend and flattened himself in the area between the rails as the train came into the station. According to CBS News, Williams said, “When we fell over, he stayed there with me. He's always looking out for me. That's his job.”
Williams indicated his diabetes and the medication he takes could have been the reason why he fainted. Williams was sent to St. Luke's Hospital to recover from non-life threatening injuries from the accident. Press and people gathered at the hospital, amazed at this touching story of dedication and love.
Ironically, the dog was due to retire in January and Williams thought he would have to give up his companion. The costs would no longer be covered by Williams' insurance. Williams will get a younger guide dog to help him out. However, the Guiding Eyes for the Blind trained Orlando and received enough donations from private donors to keep Orlando and Williams together, too. Williams fought back tears as he expressed, “The spirit of giving, of Christmas, and all that – it exists here.”
Anthony Duncan, the police officer who first reached Williams on the tracks, refers to him as the miracle man. Web pages were created to help keep the blind man and his guide dog together. By Wednesday afternoon, Gofundme.com and Indiegogo.com raised almost $80,000 for the cause.
Orlando will get to live out his retirement with Williams. He is actually older than his owner in dog years as Orlando would be about 77 years old. A younger guide dog will take over his working duties so Orlando can live a life of leisure with Williams.
Take Away Thoughts:
The bonds that form between people and pets can be deep. The generosity of people can also be incredible. The Christmas spirit filled everyone to help protect a hero guide dog from being taken away from the man who loves him. It is an example to all of us about loving, sharing and giving during the Christmas season and all year round.
Image Source: MorgueFile