A blind man who tumbled onto subway tracks in Manhattan with his aging guide dog last month has gotten a new service dog, but, thanks to anonymous donations, he can keep his old, now retired, friend as well.
In the December fall, Cecil Williams, 61, said he passed out on the subway platform and fell onto the tracks with the black Labrador, Orlando, into the path of a train. The train wasn't able to stop in time, and it rolled over Williams, but he wasn't hit because he landed between the rails.
Williams suffered minor injuries in the fall and was released from the hospital after several days; his dog was OK. In an interview with the AP at the time, Williams lamented his beloved Orlando would be forced to retire due to his age in January. His insurance wouldn't pay for a retired dog and a new one, Williams said.
The organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which provided the dog to Williams seven years ago, said anonymous donations covered the cost of the dog for life after his retirement.
When Orlando put up his paws earlier this month, Williams got Godiva, a yellow Labrador and recent graduate from a service dog training program at Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Williams said he feels blessed to have both dogs, and thanked the strangers for the donations that made doing so possible.
"I feel that I was blessed with Orlando, right? And now I'm being blessed again," he told the "Today" show. "He saved me, and now she's coming along to carry on where he left off."