When the news broke that Cecil Williams would not be able to keep his dog Orlando, funds were launched and donations poured in so Williams could keep his life saving pet. Williams, who is blind, fell onto the subway tracks earlier this week and his seeing-eye dog Orlando followed him, waking him up in time for both to duck beneath the train and escape serious injury.
Orlando is an 11 year old black lab who is set to retire in January of 2014. Williams’ insurance will not cover a non-service dog so Williams would be forced to part with his heroic companion. But a man in New Jersey has stepped forward to help Williams. Andrew Piera has volunteered to pay for Orlando’s expenses for the rest of the dog’s life.
Piera, who runs a trucking firm, Blue Star Transportation, was touched by Orlando’s loyalty. “He’s worked hard all his life, and now he should be covered with hugs and kisses and tummy rubs,” Piera, who has a schnauzer named Fritz, told the Daily News. “Those two should be able to stay together — I don’t care what it costs … I hope they have a Merry Christmas.”
Orlando was placed with Williams through a charity called Guiding Eyes for the Blind and the group’s funding comes from donations. “There are other people out there with disabilities and they need dogs, so if you can find it in your heart, you can send a donation to Guiding Eyes,” Williams said.