Cecil Williams, the man who was saved by his guide dog Orlando after falling onto subway tracks in New York, will provide a loving home for the loyal animal in his retirement. While recovering from the accident with Orlando by his side, Williams had planned to get another working dog to replace the 11-year-old black Labrador in January or February. However, if possible, Williams would prefer to have two dogs – one working and one retired as a pet, depending on logistics, physical ability, and finances. Nevertheless, the family that raised Orlando as a puppy is delighted to have him back if the aforementioned arrangement is not feasible. Guiding Eyes for the Blind spokeswoman Michelle Brier confirmed that they are “absolutely thrilled” to welcome Orlando back home and proud of the difference he has made in Williams’ life.
According to Williams, he couldn’t afford to take care of Orlando since he was no longer a working dog. Therefore, he was searching for a new home for him. Although Guiding Eyes offers free service dogs, they don’t cover the expenses of retired dogs. However, after Williams’ interview and pictures with Orlando were published, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center received several inquiries from people willing to provide financial aid and support. Hospital spokesperson Jim Mandler stated that Guiding Eyes has agreed to handle those requests. Williams mentioned that if he decides to keep both dogs, he will need assistance in paying for the Lab’s maintenance. Brier stated that Williams is presently in a difficult and emotional situation, and he hasn’t decided what he wants to do yet.
The organization has established a fund and intends to publish the details on its website. In the event that Williams does not require the funds, it will be directed towards other guide dogs, as per Brier’s statement. The incident occurred when Williams experienced dizziness on his way to the dentist, and both he and Orlando narrowly avoided harm when a train passed over them. Witnesses noted how Orlando barked in alarm and attempted to prevent Williams from falling off the platform. Matthew Martin recounted how Orlando bravely jumped onto the tracks and licked Williams’ face, persuading him to move out of harm’s way.
On Wednesday, Williams shared that he is starting to feel better, although he is uncertain about his hospital stay’s duration. He mentioned that his head is still sore, where the staples were placed, and his body has bruises. The medical team is conducting tests to identify the cause of the incident.