It may be the bravest dog in the land. Orlando, the hero guide dog. The devoted Black Lab is the toast of the nation today after leaping into action when his blind master passed out and fell onto the subway tracks in New York City.
The drama started when 60-year-old Cecil Williams suffered a fainting spell and fell onto the tracks at the 125th street subway stop. Orlando tried to pull Cecil to safety but tumbled onto the tracks too. He then tried to revive Cecil by licking his master's face.
The pair hunkered down as an A-train thundered right over them. One witness said the guard dog was right in front of his master like he was guarding him. Miraculously, they both survived. Cecil suffered a cut on his head. Orlando was uninjured.
The drama is on the front page of New York newspapers today. "Bow Wow," said the New York Post. And the New York Daily News blared, "Blind Luck."
Orlando remained loyally at Cecil's side as he recovered in the hospital and at a news conference Wednesday where Cecil raised a laugh when he told reporters how loyal Orlando is.
"You can come home anytime and they're glad to see you. Not like your wife, or your children or anything," said Cecil.
Jessy DiNapoli trained Orlando as a puppy. She was present when Cecil and Orlando were introduced to each other in 2006.
"It was nice to see all these years later he was still doing a great job and still doing what he needs to do," said DiNapoli.
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There were concerns that these two best buddies may not be together much longer. Orlando is 10 years old. That's more than 70 in human years, and is reaching the required retirement age for guide dogs. Cecil said his insurance company won't pay for a non-working dog, and he can't afford to keep Orlando as a pet. So, there were fears that the hero pooch may have to find a new home.
But DiNapoli's organization, Guiding Eyes For The Blind, announced that they have raised the funds to keep Cecil and his dog together.
A representative for the organization told reporters, "We're happy to say that, as of this morning, all of those expenses have been covered through anonymous donations."
When INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent went into the New York subway with DiNapoli and a guide dog-in-training, Zeus she showed how dogs are supposed to deal with train platforms.
DiNapoli explained, "He (Zeus) knows he's not supposed to go to that edge."
Trent noticed, "So he just pulled you back."
"Yes, and now he's going to turn me away," explained DiNapoli. "He knows we're not supposed to be there."
If heaven forbid something goes wrong, it's good to know hero hounds like Orlando are around.