For the last several months, due to the lockdown, Dulci Barbosa’s café business in Brazil has been shuttered — but she never stopped serving meals to one very special customer.
A sweet stray dog named Deneres.
Deneres started visiting Barbosa’s café last year. Being a dog lover with three rescue pups at home already, Barbosa wasn’t able to take her in — but she still made sure Deneres’ belly was always full.
Even after closing her café, Barbosa went there daily to leave food out for Deneres.
“She never went hungry,” Barbosa told The Dodo. “I was the only person she could count on.”
Before long, the dog came to regard Barbosa as more than just a source of food. She was now a trusted friend.
Last week, Barbosa was finally able to reopen her café — and sure enough, Deneres was among her first customers, eagerly arriving to greet Barbosa with a wagging tail.
Since then, Deneres has visited every morning, receiving plenty of love and a meal on the house.
Here’s video of another visit:
“I have a great love for her,” Barbosa said. And the feeling is mutual.
Though Barbosa hadn’t been certain where Deneres was spending her days, it was apparent that she wasn’t alone there. Her body showed signs that she’d been nursing a litter of puppies — babies who have been indirectly benefiting from Barbosa’s kindness in feeding their mother.
And just the other day, Deneres finally felt comfortable enough to make an introduction. After breakfast, she led Barbosa right to them.
“I am very happy,” Barbosa said. “Now, to rescue them and put them up for adoption.”
In the meantime, Barbosa brought a free meal to Deneres and her adorable family.
Sadly, stray dogs are far from an uncommon sight in the region where Barbosa lives and works — but Barbosa is doing her best to make sure this little family isn’t overlooked. Just as she’s been committed to feeding Deneres daily at her café, Barbosa feels the same about finding her and her family safe places to call their own.
“I’ve already started campaigns to get them adopted,” Barbosa said. “We’ll get it done. I’m certain we’ll find them homes.”
After all, customers as sweet as Deneres deserve nothing less.