In 2013, Gretchen the German shepherd was adopted by Chris Cimino and his family. She was very anxious, and it was obvious that whatever had happened in her past had hurt her – a lot. It took a while before the pup warmed up to and loved her family, and even then, she still didn’t trust strangers.
Then she met a postal worker who changed her life.
Fernando Barboza is a mailman who absolutely loves pups. He started working in this job five years back, and now he knows the names of every single dog he sees on his route. He brings a bag of treats along with him and gives the dogs he meets a treat. He says that since he’s bringing something for the family, he might as well give one to the dogs, since they’re family, too!
Barboza remembers the first time he met Gretchen. She was anxious and nervous, but he soon won her over with pets, treats, and kind words – the first outsider to ever do so! For years after, Gretchen would eagerly wait for Barboza to come by. She would get excited when she heard the mail truck and couldn’t wait to go out to greet him.
Then, one day, the tradition reached a sad end. Barboza found the Cimino family’s mailbox flag raised and opened it to find a bag of pup treats. An attached note said that Gretchen had passed away, but wanted Barboza to take her treats and share them with the other pups he meets.
Barboza was so choked up, and he vowed to carry out Gretchen’s last request. So every day, he goes to give her treats to the pups he sees on his route, and he tells them all that they’re from Gretchen!
Although Barboza is saddened by her passing and misses her, he knows that, in a way, she’s always around, as he believes that every dog you form a bond with becomes a part of you. It’s truly a beautiful way to think – and we know Gretchen is happy to share her treats with the other pups in the world!
Feature Image Source: Chris Cimino