Sunday, December 29, 2013

Blind man saved by guide dog who licked him awake after he fell onto subway tracks

There was a New York Christmas miracle at 125th Street Station on Tuesday when a blind man and his guide dog survived being runover by a subway train after they both fell onto the tracks - but now the two friends face being separated because his owner can't afford to care for him.

Cecil Williams, 61, was making his way to the dentist at 9.30 am with his 10-year-old black Labrador Orlando when he suddenly felt faint and began to wobble perilously close to the edge of the platform.

His longtime buddy desperately tried to hold him back from falling by pulling at his leash.

They both tumbled onto the tracks where Orlando managed to wake Cecil by licking his face just in time for them both to duck into the middle trench between the tracks.

'The dog saved my life,' said Williams from his St. Luke’s Hospital bed, 'He tried to hold me up.'

Now he is also coming to terms with the fact that his health insurance will not cover the cost of keeping Orlando when he retires next year as a non-working dog.

But in the hours since his plight was made public, members of the public have set up a fund-raising campaign in his name giving him some hope of staying with Orlando.

Witnesses said the dog was barking frantically and tried to stop Williams from falling, but they both fell to the tracks when Williams fainted.

'The dog was trying to pull him away from the southbound edge of the platform, but his feet were on the edge, he was wobbling, and the dog was barking,' said Ana Quinones, 53, to the New York Post.

Despite Orlando's best efforts, he and his owner toppled onto the tracks - just as an uptown A train was approaching the station.

'But there was nothing he could do once he was down there. He just sat there with the man. He just licked the man’s face trying to get him to move,' said Quinones.

As horrified commuters watched an employee of the MTA shouted down to Cecil who by now was sitting upright on the tracks not to move and to lie down in the trench between the tracks.

The train, whose driver had seen the two slammed its breaks on and then rolled two carts over Orlando and Cecil.

The train's motorman slowed the subway cars while witness called for help. Cecil and Orlando were not struck by the train and only Cecil suffered a gash to his head - presumably from the fall.

Cecil said he was astonished by the help from emergency crews and bystanders on the platform.
'Everyone was screaming, everyone was shaking in horror. We heard someone on the other side scream he’s fine, he’s alive!' said student Ashley Prenza to the New York Post.

'It was a big relief for everyone.'

FDNY Capt. Danny O’Sullivan, a 17-year FDNY veteran told the New York Daily News someone must have been watching out for Williams and Orlando.

'We checked out under the train and found that he was not trapped; he was just in between the rails'

'It must have been a lucky day for him. This definitely is a miracle.'

As Williams regained consciousness, he heard someone telling him to be still. Emergency workers put him on a stretcher and pulled him from the subway, and made sure the dog was not badly injured.

'I'm feeling amazed,' Williams said. 'I feel that God, the powers that be, have something in store from me. 

They didn't take me away this time. I'm here for a reason.'

Police said both Williams and the dog were taken to a hospital where they were expected to recover. Williams says he is not sure why he lost consciousness, but he is on insulin and other medications.

Orlando, a seriously laid-back dog, was at the hospital making new friends — and he will be rewarded with some type of special treat, Williams said, and will be given 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. His health insurance will not cover the cost of a non-working dog, so he will be looking for a good home for him.

If he had the money, Williams said, 'I would definitely keep him.'

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Shelter Dog’s Poem

This poem was sent to me by Dog Crazy Newsletter this morning and I had to post it here for all to see.
[I reprinted the entire eNewsletter that was sent to me]

Angel Wells in Martinsburg WV. Angel wrote a poem about her dog that I'd like to share with you.  Angel wrote, "All of my dogs are shelter dogs, but I wrote this poem about one of them in particular.  He is my chihuahua/papillon mix that has become my therapy dog.  He is very special to me and I couldn't live without him.  Fate brought us together, and I think if other people would take the time to look in their local shelter, they might find their soul mate as well."

All good dogs deserve a chance. Here is her poem:

Once upon a time, you see,
There was this little pup
For reasons unbeknownst to me,
His family gave him up

Maybe it was chewing
Everything that he could find
Maybe they were busy and
Just didn't have the time

They took him to the shelter
And they just left him there
Outside, alone, in the cage
Shivering and scared

Even though they knew inside
If he went through those doors
He may never have the chance
To find a home like yours

He sat there crying silently
Wondering what he did
That was so bad that they just
Had to leave him like they did

However fate was smiling
On that little pup that day
Because a lady saw him
And she whisked him right away

He got a second chance at life
That others may have not
And now he's in a loving home
With everything he wants

Every day he gets that love
That he was looking for
And silently is thankful for when
She walked through that door

Others may not have this chance
So open up your heart
And adopt a shelter dog to take
And give a brand new start.

Thanks for sharing your poem with us, Angel.  It is really beautiful. you consider adopting a shelter dog?.  In fact, if you are thinking at all of adopting, - I have the perfect article for you.

Go to: The Ultimate guide to Dog Adoption . This article talks about what you should consider before you adopt, the responsibilities of having a dog, selecting the right sized dog, getting the right breed, supplies you will need, pet proofing your home, where to look and how to find the BEST dog for you.

This is a great article. Print it for later or for anyone that might want a dog.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

P.S. has a lot of great gift items for rescue mom and dads. Many of them include free personalization with your rescue pet’s name. Check them out

P.S. We are looking for some great photos of dogs with their favorite toys? Have any? Send them to us! Submit your photos to:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Lord...I dare anyone to tell me that dogs are not God's work of art!

The story behind this photo will leave you speechless…

Pictures are worth a thousand words, but these might just leave you utterly speechless! (originally posted on the Chester County SPCA Facebook page:

This story will tug at your heart strings! Our friends over at Operation Ava have two very special dogs at their shelter. Meet brothers Jeffrey & Jermaine. Jeffrey is blind, so Jermaine has devoted his life to become his seeing eye dog. They are inseparable and even sleep holding on to each other! This is an absolutely incredible story! They are great with children and love other dogs.

The unconditional love and devotion these two dogs show is positively inspirational. Jeffrey and Jermaine are STILL waiting at shelter Operation Ava in Philadelphia for their hero to come rescue them! Please open your heart and home to them! For more information or adoption inquiries, please contact Operation Ava at (267) 519-0376 or visit their website

Monday, October 28, 2013

My rescue Bella and her BFF Abby , the Cavashon

Bella (left) and Abby love to romp in Bella's backyard

Monday, October 7, 2013

Who among us didn't already know this to be true?

Scientist says MRI scans prove that dogs are people, too

Finally, science is proving what we here at msnNOW have been saying all along: Dogs are people, too. Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University, writes in the New York Times that he used an MRI machine set up in his living room to monitor the brain activity of a dozen dogs, including his own black terrier Callie. Berns writes that results showed dogs' caudate nucleus, the part of the brain that registers positive anticipation, functions similarly to humans'.
"In dogs, we found that activity in the caudate increased in response to hand signals indicating food," Berns writes. "The caudate also activated to the smells of familiar humans. And in preliminary tests, it activated to the return of an owner who had momentarily stepped out of view."

Berns' conclusion: Dogs experience positive emotions, and he believes they have the same level of sentience as human children. Of course, we've been saying that for a while — but it's nice of Berns to confirm. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

And, then God made Dog

Do yourself a big favor and take a few moments to view the video at the link below. Then go give your pup a big hug.  If you don't have a dog, go adopt one at your local rescue.  Or two even.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Jack the Rescuer

16 years ago a woman I was dating begged me to take a young puppy from the shelter where she worked. She told the story of how he was to be euthanized because no one would take him.
They couldn't find a home for him because he ran from everyone, would not let anyone close, he was terrified of people.
The rest of story was that someone had hurt him badly.
Who could ever abuse such a beautiful, loyal, devoted friend like Jack?
I thought I was doing him favor, I believed I was being of service. I bestowed the honor of naming him Jack, after a great man in my life who had passed on a few years earlier.
Jack was allowed to be who he was, desperately wanting love and attention, crippled by fear. It took 2 solid years before he trusted me enough to allow his belly to be rubbed.
Through out his life he never lost his fear, he did grow to trust that he was safe with me, that i was not going to hurt him.
Every single interaction we had through his life, I would patiently let him go through his ritual of shaking with fear, and barking until he felt comfortable enough for me to touch him.
I thought it was I who was being of service to him
Today I am 10 years sober.
The math points out Jack was with me 6 years before my current sobriety date. The darkest period of my life. Jack loved me unconditionally when I wasn't very lovable.
My faithful companion through out.
I now have a better idea of who was being of service to whom.
Today perhaps I was of service.
Jack was tired, life had become hard, and painful for the old man.
When the vet administered the sedative, Jack relaxed. Maybe truly relaxed, without fear for the only time in his long life.
Rest in Peace my sweet companion.
There is a very special place waiting for you

Colin James
Plano, TX