Tag Archives: San Donaci

A Fitting Epitaph for Ciccio, the Faithful Dog

19 Feb

Ciccio, the dog who continued to “attend mass” after the death of his longtime owner and caregiver, has died from cardiac arrest. In my January 25 post, Losing a Faithful Companion, I shared the story of Ciccio, the faithful companion of Maria Lochi, who continued to search for Maria each day at church after her funeral.

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With health failing, Ciccio, also known as Tommy, had been hospitalized in a local clinic.  He had become quite a celebrity, with local people making sure he was cared for. He even had his own Facebook page, which published many messages of encouragement to the dog after the death of his beloved Maria.

Farewell, Ciccio. Thank you for warming the hearts of so many and for leaving us to wonder, as my friend Pat expressed, “did he die of heart failure due to old age, or could it have been heart break due to the loss of Maria?” I guess we’ll never know, but what we do know for sure is this: he loved and was loved in return. A wonderful epitaph indeed.

Ciao,

Judy

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

Ciao,

Judy

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