Blind Man Gets to Keep Heroic Guide Dog

Thanks to more than $45,000 in donations, Cecil Williams will be able to keep Orlando, who saved him when he collapsed on subway tracks.

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Cecil Williams and Orlando

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Kind souls across the country delivered a Christmas blessing to a blind man and his guide dog.

Cecil Williams, 61, was on his way to a dentist appointment when he began to feel faint. He collapsed onto the subway tracks, bringing his guide dog, Orlando, down with him. Orlando began barking and licking Williams' face to wake him. With a train aimed for them both, Orlando stayed with his owner and, miraculously, both survived.

While in the hospital Williams revealed that he was going to have to retire Orlando soon since the dog was getting to be too old to be an official service dog. Williams' insurance only pays for a working dog, not a pet, New York Daily News reports, so Williams wouldn't be able to keep him.

But that was fixed Wednesday, as a spokeswoman from Guiding Eyes for the Blind said the nonprofit, which trained Orlando and matched him to Williams in 2006, had received enough donations to keep the owner and his heroic canine together, the Daily News reports.

"Orlando has been working for eight years ... 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," marveled Williams.

"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."

Read more at New York Daily News.

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