Concern centers on man's best friend

April 13, 1992|By New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- When a taxi jumped a curb in midtown Manhattan last Monday, two bystanders were struck and seriously injured. Since then, one victim has received four get-well cards and a handful of visitors. The second has received hundreds of cards; 300 to 400 people have called each day to ask about him, and well-wishers have contributed hundreds of dollars to insure that he receives good care.

The first victim is an elderly blind man. The second is his dog.

Thomas Armstrong, 64, and his Seeing Eye Dog, Smokey, a black Labrador, were fixtures along Fifth Avenue, where Mr. Armstrong sold pencils.

Smokey was recovering on Saturday, but his usefulness as a Seeing Eye Dog was in doubt because he was likely to lose the sight in his left eye, said his veterinarian, Philip Fox.

Down the hall, two administrators sorted through the day's mail for Smokey, a bin filled with about 250 cards for the dog and checks and cash for the Smokey Get-Well Fund. Officials said the money sent to Smokey would be used to treat him and other sick and injured guide dogs. They said they had not yet totaled the contributions.

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