This is a heartwarming story of a mailman and a German Shepherd dog named Gretchen in Texas. This dog had a tough life before she was adopted in 2013 by the Cimino family. She’d always been wary of all people until she met postal worker, Fernando Barboza.
Barboza is a dog lover, so he always has a bag of treats in his mail truck to feed dogs. “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.” He said.
When Barboza first met Gretchen, he was kind of worried because she was a little standoffish. However, everything has changed when he started to talk to her, pet her and bring her treats. This happened every day for years and Gretchen would wait by the front door to meet Barboza. “She knew the sound of the mail truck and she would perk up and get ready when she heard it,” Cimino told The Dodo.
Sadly, Gretchen the German shepherd has recently crossed the rainbow bridge, but she has found the perfect person to fulfill her final wish.
“On Monday, I saw Gretchen’s family’s mailbox had its flag up, which meant there was outgoing mail,” Barboza said. Inside was a bag of dog treats and a note from one of the dog’s owners letting him know some heartbreaking news:
“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.”
Afterward, he went to the Ciminos’ door to express his condolences and promise to fulfill Gretchen’s final wish. “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,’” Barboza said.
“I know that she would have wanted her favorite things that she couldn’t finish to go to her friends,” Cimino said. “She may not have liked many people, but she absolutely loved other dogs.”
When passing the Ciminos’ home now, Barboza has to remind himself that Gretchen is no longer there waiting for him. However, he believes that she’ll always be around him and her family.