A mailman who befriended a German Shepherd who recently passed away, has found a wonderful way to fulfill the doggo’s final wish, per her humans’ request.
Gretchen had a tough life before she was adopted by the Cimino family, who live in Texas.
She’d always been wary of other humans, until she met the local postal service worker, Fernando Barboza, who became her Very Good Friend.
Barboza had a pretty smart way to win over all the neighbourhood dogs, he told The Dodo.
Sharing the love, he said:
I have a bag of treats in my mail truck. When I bring a package to somebody’s door, and there’s a dog there, I give them a treat.
Like, if I’m bringing something for the owner, I might as well bring something to the dogs, too, since they’re part of the family.
Thus, he and Gretchen became unlikely inter-species best buds.
The German Shepherd would eagerly await the postman’s arrival daily over the next few years.
Chris Cimino, her adoptive dog dad, said:
She knew the sound of the mail truck and she would perk up and get ready when she heard it.
[Barboza] just wore away that callus she carried with his good nature and love for her. And she loved him too.
But, sadly, the tradition ended this month, when Gretchen passed away.
Barboza noticed the Cimino family had left the flag on their mailbox up, signifying outgoing mail. When he opened up the letterbox, the animal-lover found a pack of dog treats and a note addressed to him.
The note read:
Gretchen passed away yesterday. She asked me to ask you if you would share her treats that she never got to finish with the other dogs on your route.
She always enjoyed seeing you come to the door and was always happy to get a snack from you.
He posted the note to Facebook with a tribute to Gretchen:
Barboza, who said he was ‘choked up’ to read the note, has duly delivered on his duties in honour of the deceased dog he called his friend.
I’ve been giving out her treats to the dogs on my route every day. And when I do, I always say, ‘This is from Gretchen.’
It’s been both happy and sad. I’m sad when I think about her, but I’m happy to see the other dogs’ tails wagging like crazy when they get the treats. It’s bittersweet.
Apparently, according to Chris, the gesture has helped the family deal with their grief and the’re thankful for the kindness and joy Barboza brought to her — and is continuing to spread to others on her behalf.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.