A guide dog named Orlando is credited with saving his owner’s life when the man passed out and fell onto subway tracks in New York City, just as a train approached.
Cecil Williams, who has been blind since 1995, was on his way to a dentist appointment when he suddenly felt faint.
He tried to lean on his guide dog for support, but instead tumbled onto the tracks.
The black Labrador retriever immediately jumped into the path of the oncoming train as well and began licking Williams’ face, trying to get him to move.
The express train slowed down, but could not stop and one and half cars passed over the two before it was able to come to a halt.
Williams had fallen in the trough between the rails. Witnesses to the incident flagged down a subway workers, who told him to stay there.
“He was definitely this man’s best friend. When the train was coming, the dog didn’t move,” Ana Quinones, who witnessed the incident, told the New York Post. “The dog was loyal to his master. He tried to save him. He was trying to pull him away when he was too close to the edge. He risked his own life to save his owner.”
Williams suffered a cut on his head, but was not seriously injured. He doesn’t know why he passed out; however, he is on insulin and other medications. Orlando was not harmed.
Williams says Orlando will get a special treat for his heroic act. Unfortunately, guide dogs must retire at age 11 and Orlando is nearing retirement. Williams says he will have to find a new home for his trusted dog since his insurance will not pay for a non-working dog. He says he would keep him if he could afford Orlando’s care.
“The dog saved my life,” an emotional Williams told the Associated Press from his hospital bed. “I’m feeling amazed. I feel that God, the powers that be, having something in store from me. They didn’t take me away this time. I’m here for a reason.”
Did you know guide dogs will follow their owners just about anywhere to keep them from harm?