As reported by The Associated Press on December 17, 2013, Cecil Williams, 60, who has been blind since 1995, lives with his 11 year service dog, an 11 year old (on January 5th) black Labrador retriever. On Tuesday Mr. Williams fell onto the NYC Manhattan subway tracks from the A-train platform at 125th St after feeling faint and eventually losing consciousness. Orlando, after being unable to stop Mr. Williams from falling faithfully and without hesitation jumped onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train in an effort to awaken his owner with nudges and kisses. Unable to rouse him, Orlando stayed by Mr. Williams’s side as the train passed over them. In nothing short of a miracle, both Mr. Williams and Orlando escaped with only minor injuries.
Being that Orlando is 11 he is soon to retire from service. And while Orlando is permitted to stay with Mr. Williams after his days of duty, the Insurance will not pay for retired, non-service, non-working dogs. This means that while Mr. Williams will get a new service dog, he will be forced to rehome Orlando due to his inability to afford the costs of keeping him. Something he said he does not want to do but will be forced to do reluctantly. My efforts here and request from all of you out there is to help raise the funds to care for Orlando in order for Mr. Williams and Orlando to stay together after years of companionship and their mutual care for each other.
I believe that most of you that ready this story will be moved just as I was moved. And while I know extra money is not always easy to come by but I ask that in the spirit of the holidays you consider giving anything you can to help Mr. Williams and Orlando. Funds raised will be set up in an account in direct cooperation with Mr. Williams and the Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the non-profit who provided Orlando to Mr. Williams.
Read more: http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_289563/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=FBjUjSZD
Who am I: I live with my family in Tampa, Florida and am a Lease Admin Manager for the National Real Estate group at PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com/us)