Back in 2013, the Cimino family in Texas adopted a German Shepherd named Gretchen. It was clear that she had a terrible life before then; she did not trust people and was very wary of all strangers. With time, she grew to trust her family, but still did not like strangers—that is, until she met Fernando Barboza. Fernando loves dogs and it shows: he’s been a Postal Worker for five years and now knows all the dogs on his route by name. He keeps a bag of dog treats in his truck and when he brings a package to the people on his route, he gives their dog a special delivery too. He says that dogs are part of the family and he wants them to receive something along with their owners.
That’s when Fernando met Gretchen and over time, she became smitten with him after he gave her treats and a scratch behind the ears. Gretchen would wait by the door for her favorite person and even knew the sound of the mail truck and ran to the door to say hello. Fernando was able to get past Gretchen’s hard exterior and the two were the best of friends. But sadly, that all ended recently. The mailbox at Gretchen’s house had the flag up, indicating there was outgoing mail. But inside was a message for Fernando; a note that said:
“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.”
Fernando expressed his sadness to her family and promised to carry out her final wish. Fernando gives out treats each day to the other dogs and is sure to tell them they are from Gretchen. While this loss is hard for Gretchen’s family and for Fernando, knowing her legacy lives on has offered them some comfort.