Dog attends mass every day since owner's funeral

Church goers believe heartbroken pooch is waiting for owner to return

Published On: Jan 17 2013 12:59:35 PM EST
BRINDISI, Italy -

Call it an extreme case of man’s best friend.  A dog whose owner died two months ago is believed to be missing her so much he is attending church services at the chapel where her funeral was held in Brindisi, Italy. Tommy, a seven-year-old German shepherd, belonged to Maria Margherita Lochi, 57, and had been her faithful companion after she adopted him when she found him abandoned in fields close to her home in Italy.

Friends said Margherita would walk to church with her pooch every day - where the priest would allow him to sit patiently by her feet. Since her death, Tommy has been a regular at the church arriving on time when the bells ring out to mark the start of services.

Father Donato Panna told the Daily Mail: ''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. 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 - I've just recently lost my own dog so I leave him there until Mass finishes and then I let him out."