Tag Archives: Dog

Remembering Paco – One Year Later

5 Sep

It’s been one year since our dog and friend Paco died peacefully in my arms. Paco never made it to Cortona, although he would have found many companions as everyone seems to have a dog!  And as Len often laments, “The dogs speak better Italian than I do!”

In memory of Paco, I am reposting what I wrote last year and adding a few pictures.


Paco had been failing this last week and letting us know it was his time to go. We were fortunate to have had him nearly 17 years, almost 119 in human years. Unlike humans, however, he never lost his puppy look. Rarely could a person pass without commenting what a darling puppy he was.

Paco was born in Marble Falls, Texas, in late 1995. A lady who worked at a Drexel Heritage furniture store found him in a field (covered in burrs) and didn’t know what to do with him. She had named him Drexel. Len and I were supposed to be playing golf, but it was pouring outside and the courses were closed. Not much else to do in Marble Falls besides golf, so we wandered into the store.

The cute little black puppy followed me around the store and we offered to take him home. Benita was not quite three and we were thinking about getting a dog anyway. Why not this one, a homeless mutt? 


We changed his name to Paco. None of us know where the name came from but it certainly fit him better than Drexel. Ironic thing is, I bought a Drexel Heritage sofa this week.

The rest is history. Paco was an easy dog and just about everyone he met couldn’t help but like him…including my Mom, who really wasn’t much of a dog person. I guess it’s just hard to resist a dog with a perpetual puppy face, a snaggle tooth, and jet black fur that felt like mink.


My friend Glenys recently told me about a book written from a dog’s perspective. The dog is nearly Paco’s age, failing and not wanting x-rays, tests, and treatments –  just wanting his beloved owner to know it’s ok to let him die peacefully with dignity.

Paco had that look in his eyes as I held his head in my hands.  It was his time…we both knew. Farewell, buddy… we’ll miss you, but we sure had a long and great run together.

Still missing you!



Losing a Faithful Companion

25 Jan

About a week ago, the Sud Italia News shared a wonderful story about man’s, or woman’s as is this case, best friend. An article posted by Simona Giacobbi told the story of a kind woman, Maria Lochi, who had cared for stray dogs and cats for many years. At the young age of 57, Maria passed away. Maria was a regular at the church of Santa Maria Assunta in San Donaci, located in the province of Brindisi.

Ciccio, a 12 year-old German Shepherd, was Maria’s faithful companion. He accompanied her everywhere, including “attending” mass with her at the Church of Santa Maria. Two months ago, Maria was buried at the same church, and Ciccio “with his sad eyes” was among the mourners.


Incredibly, since that day, Ciccio continues to go to Mass every day, hoping to see his beloved caretaker, Maria.

As reported in the Huff Post, UK, 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 parishoners ever complained to me.”


According to the parish priest, Ciccio’s presence has deeply affected the parishioners, and no one would think of chasing him away. In fact, the residents of the town have decided to adopt him, ensuring he is fed and cared for.


The story reminds me of Paco, my faithful companion of nearly 17 years. He was wherever I was, under foot or at my side, always with unconditional love, and of course, always hoping I’d drop something for him to eat.  So glad that the town’s people are taking care of  Ciccio.

Man’s best friend? You bet.



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