Photo: John Minchillo/AP
Gallant guide dog Orlando was just doing his duty.
The black Lab 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 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,” the emotional Williams told The Associated Press 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 lie in the trench between the rails.
“The dog saved my life,” Williams said.
As Williams regained consciousness, he said he heard someone telling him to be still. Emergency workers put him on a stretcher and pulled him from the subway, and made sure Orlando was not badly injured.
“I’m feeling amazed,” Williams said. “I feel that God, the powers that be, have something in store for me. They didn’t take me away this time. I’m here for a reason.”