Ever since Maria Lochi rescued Tommy, a German Shepherd mix, from a field, he had been her loyal companion. It is a bond that not even death can separate.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: The Church in Malta
WRITTEN BY: Southern Guide to Life
Puglia, Italy – When Maria Lochi found a stray German Shepherd mix abandoned in the fields near her home, she did what came naturally for the animal lover – she brought him home. The dog, which she named Tommy, repaid the kindness by becoming her constant companion. He even walked with her to daily mass at the local church, where the priest would allow him to sit quietly at her feet.
When Lochi, 57, passed away, her funeral was held at the same church she and Tommy attended. Of course, Tommy was once again in attendance. Ever since, he has been a daily visitor to the church.
So, every time the church bells ring, Tommy heads to the church.
”He’s there every time I celebrate Mass and is very well behaved – he doesn’t make a sound, I’ve not heard one bark from him in all the time he has been coming in,” Father Donato Panna told the Daily Mail. “He used to come to Mass with Maria and he was obviously devoted to her – I let him stay inside as he was always so well behaved and none of the other parishioners ever complained to me. He’s still coming to Mass even after Maria’s funeral, he waits patiently by the side of the altar and just sits there quietly. I didn’t have the heart to throw him out”
Father Donato Panna says that the entire community has adopted Tommy and helps to care for him.