This story just keeps getting more amazing: To start, a seeing eye dog saved his owner after the man fainted and fell on train tracks. Cecil Williams, 61, passed out while waiting for the subway in New York and his guide dog, a black lab named Orlando, immediately leapt to action.
Orlando grabbed a hold of Williams and tried to keep him from falling, though he was unable to hold him. So Orlando started barking to get others passengers attention, then jumped onto the tracks and started licking Cecil in an attempt to wake him.
"He went down, and the dog jumped down," an eye-witness tells the New York Post. "He wasn't pulled. He was kissing him, trying to get him to move."
Williams came to just as an express train was arriving at the station. Subway workers told Cecil to hit the tracks and he did, hiding in the "trough" in the middle. Then the train ran them both over.
Miraculously, both survived, relatively unharmed.
"The dog saved my life," Williams, who suffered only a few cuts, later said from the hospital. "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."
Cecil, who claims that Orlando "gets me around and saves my life on a daily basis" would get "a special treat, as well as affection and scratches behind his ear" for his good work.
And then someone equally amazing happened: News broke that Orlando would soon have to retire from his guide work and Williams, who is legally blind, could not afford to keep him (his insurance covers a new seeing eye dog, but will not pay for a non-working dog).
Williams said that, if he had the money, "I would definitely keep him." And now he does.
Grant Kirsh, a law student in Indiana and stranger to Williams, heard his story on the news and started an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money for Williams and Orlando to stay together. In less than a day, he passed the $50,000 goal.
"I would hate to lose my dog," Kirsh told Buzzfeed. "In this case, it will be especially traumatic for this man to lose his dog because he's blind, and he can't afford him."
Williams reacted to the news in an emotional press conference today, crying as he explained, "Orlando has been working for eight years, he's 77 years old, and now he can retire and be a pet. His medical coverage is taken care of as long as he lives and other things will be there for him too."
He continued, "I'd like to say thank you, but I'm looking for some more words to describe how it feels...It's a blessing, a miracle."