*Talk about age discrimination! A guide dog who recently helped save his owner after being run over by a NYC subway train is being “thanked” by losing the insurance benefits that has enabled him to stay with his owner. Why? Because he turns 11-years-old in January and will be deemed a “non-working dog.”
When 11-year-old Orlando jumped on the tracks to save his blind owner who had fallen, frightened onlookers rushed to alert MTA workers; but it was too late – a train was fast approaching.
Desperately, the canine licked the face of Cecil Williams, a 60-year-old insulin taker who had felt dizzy before fainting and falling onto the tracks.
The black Labrador jumped on to the tracks right after and desperately attempted to awaken him. But to no avail.
It was just past rush hour, and by the time Williams did wake up it was too late, a subway train was coming…fast! Thank goodness Williams was warned by a construction flagger working at the station to stay in a trough in the middle of the tracks because sixty seconds later, a subway train that would have surely killed him otherwise, pulled in to the station.
Miraculously, neither the dog nor his owner sustained serious injury.
Transit police were summoned to the chaotic scene and pulled Orlando out first. Williams was then carefully extracted from the train incorporating a backboard and placing a neck brace on him as a precaution.
“The dog saved my life,” Williams told the Associated Press from his N.Y.C. hospital bed, where he was taken for treatment. “I’m feeling amazed. 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.”
But now, according to Fox News, Williams is faced with the heartbreak of losing the companion who risked his own life to save him. Because of Orlando’s age the insurance company that foots the bill for his insurance benefits will provide Williams with a new guide dog instead of continuing to pay for the one he already has – which they consider non-working.
I can’t help but wonder what a “working” dog does differently, don’t you?
Williams will now look to re-home his buddy unless he raises the money to keep him.
“If I had the money, I would definitely keep him,” he said to Fox News.
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