“Basically, they are a member of your family,” Livermore said. “It is hard to let them go, but it is a wonderful organization.”
Orlando had been scheduled to retire in January, and Williams said Tuesday that he would have to give him up because he could not afford to keep him, and his insurance would not pay for a “non-working” dog.
However, Guiding Eyes reported Wednesday that they had gotten several anonymous donations that would allow Orlando to stay with Williams. Other national media outlets that reported on the story Tuesday also indicated on Wednesday that they had been overwhelmed with offers to help Williams keep Orlando.
“It is a great Christmas story,” Livermore said, adding that, “it has been an extraordinary testament to the generosity of people around the country who have donated to support Cecil as he transitions to another Guiding Dogs and seeks to keep his longtime friend Orlando with him.”
The Leatherstocking chapter of the Guiding Eyes group, which assigned Orlando to the Livermores, meets at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Oneonta on Thursday nights.
“They are a wonderful organization,” Livermore said. “They’re a world leader in this. People come from all over the world to study Guiding Eyes and what they do.”
Livermore is the former vice president for education of the New York State Historical Association and The Farmers’ Museum. He is the executive director at Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake. His wife, Mary, who is a nurse at Bassett Medical Center, and their daughter, Grace, are both Cooperstown Central School graduates, and their son, Tae, is a junior at CCS.