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Originally published December 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM | Page modified December 18, 2013 at 6:27 AM

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Blind man falls onto subway tracks: ‘The dog saved my life’

A guide dog bravely leapt on to the tracks at a Manhattan subway platform Tuesday after his blind owner lost consciousness and tumbled in front of an oncoming train.


Associated Press

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A guide dog bravely leapt on to the tracks at a Manhattan subway platform Tuesday after his blind owner lost consciousness and tumbled in front of an oncoming train.

Cecil Williams, 61, and Orlando, a black lab, both escaped serious injury when the train passed over top of them — a miraculous end to a harrowing ordeal that began when Williams began to feel faint on his way to the dentist.

“He tried to hold me up,” Williams said from his hospital bed, his voice breaking at times.

Witnesses said Orlando began barking frantically and tried to stop Williams from falling from the platform. Matthew Martin told the New York Post that Orlando jumped down and tried to rouse Williams even as a train approached.

“He was kissing him, trying to get him to move,” Martin said.

Witnesses called for help and the train’s motorman slowed his approach as Williams and Orlando lay in the trench between the rails.

“The dog saved my life,” Williams said.

Williams was taken to a hospital where he is expected to recover, with Orlando at his bedside. Williams said he is not sure why he lost consciousness, but he is on insulin and other medications.

Orlando was at the hospital making new friends. He will be rewarded with some kind of special treat, Williams said, along with plenty of affection and scratches behind the ears.

Williams, of Brooklyn, has been blind since 1995, and Orlando is his second dog. The lab will be 11 on Jan. 5, and will be retiring soon, Williams said.



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