After the incident, Cecil Williams was hospitalized, but Orlando remained right by his side. Cecil had been scheduled to receive a new working dog in the coming months to replace the 11-year-old black Lab. However, given Orlando’s heroic act, Cecil now hopes to keep both a working and retired dog, if circumstances permit.
Alternatively, the family that raised Orlando as a puppy expressed their willingness to have him back if Cecil decides otherwise. Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the organization responsible for training and providing working dogs, offers these dogs for free but cannot cover the expenses of retired dogs.
Following an interview and photographs published by The Associated Press showcasing Cecil and Orlando’s bond, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center received numerous offers of financial support and assistance from well-wishers. Guiding Eyes for the Blind stepped in to manage these inquiries, as their expertise in handling guide dog matters would be invaluable.
Cecil Williams faces a difficult decision, given his current circumstances and emotional state. If he decides to care for two dogs, he will require financial assistance for the retired Lab’s care.
The organization is establishing a fund to assist, and details will be available on its website. Any surplus funds, if not needed by Cecil, will be redirected to support other guide dogs.
Fortunately, both Cecil Williams, aged 61, and Orlando miraculously escaped serious injury when a passing train bumped into them during the incident. Witnesses recounted how Orlando’s frantic barking and attempts to prevent Cecil from falling off the platform were nothing short of heroic. As the train approached, Orlando leaped onto the tracks, even kissing his owner in a bid to encourage him to move.
While Cecil Williams continues his recovery, he expressed gratitude and revealed that he’s “feeling a little bit better.” However, he remains under medical care, with some soreness and bruises. Medical tests are ongoing to determine the cause of his loss of consciousness.
This heartwarming story highlights the extraordinary bond between a guide dog and its owner, as well as the outpouring of support from the community in the face of adversity.