Animals

Mailman Fulfills German Shepherd's Last Wish

The two were great friends despite the stereotypes, his action goes viral


Gretchen the German Shepherd didn't like a whole lot of people. Her family thinks she might have been mistreated before they adopted her as a rescue in 2013. But, surprisingly enough, one of Gretchen's favorite people outside of the Cimino family was the mailman, Fernando Barboza.

Mailman Fernando Barboza knows all of the dogs on his route by name, and carries dog treats in his mail truck

Barboza loves dogs and knows all of the dogs on his San Angelo, TX route by name. "I have a bag of treats in my mail truck," Barboza told The Dodo. "When I bring a package to somebody's door, and there's a dog there, I give them a treat. 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."

That's how the mailman and the dog became unlikely friends. "It started off slow. She is pretty mistrustful of everybody," Chris Cimino told Good Morning America. "But he was pretty persistent ... he would call her name and she started looking forward to it. "She often waited by the door, barking in welcome when she saw Barboza coming up the sidewalk.

So when Gretchen passed away recently, Cimino told GMA, he couldn't bear to tell the mailman in person, so he left a bag of dog treats at the door along with 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."

Since Barboza's daughter posted the note on Twitter, it's gone viral with more than 873,000 likes, along with expressions of sympathy for the Cimino family and praise for mailman Barboza. Chris Cimino says he hopes if one thing comes out of this, it's to convince people to adopt older dogs.

"You never know when you're going to find that one-in-a-lifetime friendship." Chris Cimino, Gretchen's owner
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