18 December 2013

Orlando, the Wonder Dog

Yesterday, a tale captivated so many of us. It was the story of Cecil Williams, a blind man who fainted onto the New York City subway tracks. His guide dog, Orlando, barked and tried to keep Williams from falling but soon they both tumbled onto the tracks. 

Both were hit by the train, but not badly hurt, according to NBC News.

The pair were rushed to the hospital and are recovering. But the story didn’t stop there: Orlando, who is 11, is set to retire soon and Williams will receive a new guide dog. Sadly, Williams’ insurance would not cover the cost to keep Orlando and the new guide dog, so Williams and his faithful companion were to be parted.

All that changed today. So many donations came pouring in to Guiding Eyes for the Blind that all of Orlando’s continued expenses will be covered so Williams, a retired Orlando, and whomever takes Orlando’s place will all live happily together. 

                                       (photo by John Minchillo/AP)

I had no idea that a blind person didn’t get to keep their dogs once their guide dogs retired. It makes perfect sense, but it seems terribly sad after they’ve created such a bond for both the human and the dog. 

Even though enough funds have come in to ensure Williams and Orlando their happy ending, I’m giving today’s donation to Guiding Eyes for the Blind so that some other two and four-legged friends can hopefully stay together. Guiding Eyes' work extends beyond the blind: it also pairs dogs with children with autism. 

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