You’ve met Raymond Fletcher, now get to know his sidekick and best friend, Hercules!
Raymond adopted Hercules, 2, about 18 months ago from Lied Animal Shelter. Raymond says when he went to the animal shelter the day he adopted Hercules, he was not looking to bring home a pet. But when Hercules gave Raymond little kisses, he knew that they were meant to be.
Raymond was born with an extremely rare case of Roberts Syndrome, an abnormality of the limbs that leaves him primarily wheelchair bound. There are only 150 known cases in the globe. Raymond trained Hercules on his own, as no one else truly understands Raymond’s condition and needs from a service dog. Hercules helps Raymond in his daily life by picking up things that he may drop, and supporting him if he starts to fall over his wheelchair, among many other helpful tasks.
Hercules accompanies Raymond to work each day and stays right by his side. As an Executive Assistant with RTC’s bus contractor MV Transportation, Raymond says when he sits in his chair at work, Hercules will hop up into his wheelchair and place his head on Raymond’s shoulder or his paw on Raymond’s back. Raymond has learned to live an independent life, despite his physical challenges. But he says it wouldn’t be the same without Hercules. “I don’t know where I would be today without him. I am just so thankful that we met, and he picked me.”
Watch the video below to get a close look at Raymond’s “wingman.”