Twitter | @amorningsting, @DeCuervo2

Mailman Honors Family Wish When A Dog On His Route Passes Away

We're often told that we don't know what we've got until it's gone, but some people in our lives can make themselves very easy to appreciate. This is despite the fact that they have a relatively small role in our lives.

In my case, there's one bus driver I see every morning who actually waits for me when she pulls up to my stop and sees me in the distance. Most understandably drive by, but she gives me a chance no matter how far away I am.

And there's also no rule that says this special one has to be human, as one mailman learned from meeting a particular dog on his route.

Although we've historically assumed that dogs and postal workers don't get along, the truth is a little more complicated than that.

Instagram | @upsdogs

Although some dogs can be very protective and territorial when a stranger shows up, this can change if a postal worker sees them enough to establish a rapport.

And as the days went on, postal worker Fernando Barboza made exactly that connection with a German shepherd named Gretchen.

Twitter | @DeCuervo2

He told The Dodo that she was timid at first, but they became buddies after he had talked to her and given her enough treats.

And so, she would always perk up when his truck came around.

However, Barboza noticed that Gretchen's family had their mailbox flag up one morning.

Twitter | @amorningsting

This normally meant they had outgoing mail, but it was actually a package filled with dog treats and a message informing him that Gretchen had died.

However, that's not all the note said. It also had a request that the Cimino family suggested came from Gretchen herself.

Twitter | @amorningsting

And that was to share the treats she didn't have time to finish with the other "buddies" on Barboza's route.

As you might imagine, Twitter was touched by the friendship the two had formed and saddened that it had to end like this.

In one case, somebody found an appropriately sorrowful photo of their own dog to mark the occasion.

Barboza made sure to express his condolences to the Cimino family and promised that he would do what the note asked.

Instagram | @upsdogs

As he said to The Dodo, he's not only been giving the treats out to other dogs, but he's been telling them "this is from Gretchen" as he does it.

Doing this has added to silver lining to what otherwise just be a glum situation.

Instagram | @upsdogs

Barboza said, "It's been both happy and sad. I’m sad when I think about her, but I’m happy to see the other dogs’ tails wagging like crazy when they get the treats. It’s bittersweet."

Gretchen's owner, who goes by DeCuervo, has also been glad to see that Gretchen's story has received such lovely responses.

Instagram | @upsdogs

According to The Dodo, the family's wish also reflects the fact that while Gretchen generally didn't trust people, she loved other dogs.

h/t: The Dodo