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A German Shepherd’s Final Request

german shepherd gretchen on couch
Photo Credit: Chris Cimino

The age-old stigma of dogs hating the mailman isn’t always true, especially when the mailman is a dog lover who carries treats on his route.

Meet Fernando Barboza, a dog lover who carries treats in his mail truck to befriend the four-legged residents of the house.

Barboza’s theory is if human residents are getting a delivery, the dogs should too, since they’re part of the family.

Fernando Barboza

Photo Credit: Fernando Barboza

Barboza knows all the dogs on his route by name. He came across a German Shepherd named Gretchen, who took her time to warm up to him.

When the Cimino family, from Texas, adopted two-year-old Gretchen as a rescue, it was evident that she had experienced little love in her life up to that point.

german shepherd gretchen

Photo Credit: Twitter/@DeCuervo2

Gretchen had been mistreated before finding her forever home and was wary of people outside her circle of trust.

He delivered the mail to her family and brought her a treat every day like clockwork.

Barboza told The Dodo:

“When I first met her, I was kind of worried, she was a little standoffish at first, but then I started to talk to her and pet her and bring her treats.”

Barboza was patient with Gretchen and eventually won her over.

Gretchen began to wait by the door anticipating Barboza’s arrival. She knew the sound of the mail and truck and perked up when she heard it.

german shepherd gretchen at front door

Photo Credit: Chris Cimino

Sadly, the tradition came to an end one Monday morning. Gretchen’s family’s mailbox had its flag up, but inside wasn’t outgoing mail. It was a bag of dog treats with 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.”

gretchens note

Photo Credit: Fernando Barboza

Barboza said he got choked up and went to the Cimino’s door to give his condolences. He promised he would carry out Gretchen’s final wish.

Barboza said:

“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 sent this text to his daughter when he learned the sad news about Gretchen.

german shepherd twitter post

Photo Credit: Twitter/@morningsting

Barboza’s daughter posted a screenshot of the text on Twitter, where it went viral. Chris Cimino saw the post and had this to say:

“My wife and I were told about Gretchen’s letter to Fernando being on Twitter. I can’t begin to tell y’all how much it has meant to us, seeing how much love and support y’all have shown our girl. She was the absolute best.”

h/t The Dodo

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