Heartbroken dog attends mass daily

Every day when the bells ring out to mark the start of services at a church in Italy, Tommy is there. The German Shepherd used to attend mass with his owner Maria Margherita Lochi. Two months ago Lochi passed away and Tommy continues to attend mass without her, heartbroken and missing his companion.

Lochi adopted Tommy, a 7-year-old German Shepherd, when she found him abandoned in some fields close to her home. Lochi had rescued several strays over the years, but with Tommy she developed a very special bond. Every single day Lochi and Tommy would walk to church from their home and the priest would allow Tommy to come in and sit at her feet during services.

When 57-year-old Lochi passed away, Tommy was there with the mourners at her funeral service. He continues to mourn and attends services every day. “He’s there every time I celebrate Mass and is very well behaved,” said Father Donato Panna. “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.” Panna, who recently lost his own dog, can’t bear to turn Tommy away.

Tommy has become part of the entire village’s family since Lochi’s passing. “Tommy’s been adopted by everyone in the village now and he is everybody’s friend,” said Panna. “Everyone looks out for him and leaves food for him – although it would be nice to find a proper home for him.”







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37 comments

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    January 17, 2013 7:52 amPosted 1 year ago
    Sandy

    Poor baby! Why doesn’t the priest adopt him and let him live at the church? The priest should at least be asking the parishioners to adopt him. If this happened at my church, I would come with a leash, bag of treats, and a lot of love. I hope he finds a good home soon.

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    January 17, 2013 7:56 amPosted 1 year ago
    miyu

    if only i could..poor ting…

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    January 17, 2013 7:59 amPosted 1 year ago
    rose triano

    I hope and pray someone adopts Tommy. He needs a home and love. This is so heartbreaking. Please somone adopt Tommy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      January 17, 2013 8:24 amPosted 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Please if anyone knows the priest, ask him to adopt Tommy, I am sure he will make a good companion, since the priest himself just lost his dog. I am sure the church is the only place Tommy feels safe since that’s where his former owner brings him to everyday.

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    January 17, 2013 8:35 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Would someone please adopt that sweet dog and give him a real home? How hard can that be? In exchange you get a real friend. And that IS hard to find. Pitty I don’t live closer. I wouldn’t hesitate…

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    January 17, 2013 9:48 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 34

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      January 17, 2013 10:13 amPosted 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      I don’t think it is photo-shopped there are multiple shadows from different light sources. Kindly put your intellect to better use.

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      January 17, 2013 12:42 pmPosted 1 year ago
      SSB Pack

      And begin smart like you are, much smarter than the rest of us, you are here reading stories because……………

      Yow. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

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      January 18, 2013 5:18 pmPosted 1 year ago
      Julie

      You obviously know as much about photoshop and you do class and sympathy. And by the way, since you checked out this site how do you feel about being “reeled in” so advertisers could make money out of YOU. It’s also blatantly obvious you lack the intelligence yourself….Fool.

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        February 12, 2013 2:21 pmPosted 1 year ago
        Maria

        I bet you go around during Christmas and tell all the little children that there is no Santa!

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      January 18, 2013 5:29 pmPosted 1 year ago
      TruthBeTold

      Photoshopped? Hardly. Notice the shadow cast by the dog? Now look at the shadow cast by the plant on the altar step behind the dog. Now look at the shadow cast at the base of the wall at left, background. All shadows, repeat ALL shadows fall in the same direction due to the light source coming from the right. You must have been out playing keyboard cowboy during photo class. Get a clue before making an asinine statement about something you know zero about.

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      January 18, 2013 7:40 pmPosted 1 year ago
      Sandy

      Everyone replying to your comment are trying to be nice. I don’t know why they are. You’re a dick.

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    January 17, 2013 9:50 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I googled the story- it is in San Donaci near Brindisi – maybe an Italian will read the post & get in touch with Father Donato Panna about Tommy…

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    January 17, 2013 9:58 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    To the person who says this is photoshopped….. Do a little research before you say things like

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    January 17, 2013 9:58 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    That. He is for real!!

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    January 17, 2013 10:04 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Look at the other photos here (and learn Italian :-) )

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    January 17, 2013 10:05 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Sorry about that–the website stripped away my link to the other photos. Google for www dot quotidianodipuglia dot it and add the words “San Donaci Brindisi Tommy cane” to your search string and you’ll find plenty more photos of Tommy.

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    January 17, 2013 10:38 amPosted 1 year ago
    Patti

    If you can get him here he can join my pack.

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    January 17, 2013 11:06 amPosted 1 year ago
    Monique

    His name is Ciccio! (Not Tommy) And he does not need a home, the church is caring for him. He is twelve years old, not 7. His owner, Maria of the fields (translation of what she is called by the locals) went to mass every afternoon, and so he stays at the church, where the Father Donato watches out for him.

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      January 18, 2013 1:57 amPosted 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Do you know this because you live in that area? If its a fact that’s awesome!!!

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    January 17, 2013 11:55 amPosted 1 year ago
    Mark Toro

    I live in Ohio, in the U.S. and would love to adopt Ciccio. I am Italian and long to get to Italy but have never been. My grandparents came over around 1911 from Pescara & Chivatella regions. It seems like that is Ciccio’s home over there, however if anyone would see this and give Ciccio a home far away, I would love to give him a home.

    Marco

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    January 17, 2013 1:40 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Fran

    The original Italian story states that the dog’s name is Tommy, but everyone in the village calls him Ciccio. It wasn’t the priest who recently lost his dog, but the local mayor. He intended to adopt Tommy, but as he was taking him home so many people came over to speak to the dog that he realised that “Ciccio is everybody’s dog”. He is well looked after, and all praise to the priest, don Panna, for allowing him to stay in the church during Mass. It’s a lovely story!

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    January 17, 2013 2:58 pmPosted 1 year ago
    nancy

    These are the types of stories that really touch your heart…Thank for sharing…

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    January 17, 2013 3:34 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Please help Tommy by giving him a warm home, with someone who is a loyal and devoted to him as he is.

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    January 17, 2013 5:17 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Why do I shed tears when I read this story? I hope someone will adopt Tommy although I do believe he is loved by the villagers. But we all need someone of our very own to care for and to care for us. Hugs to Tommy and those who love him.

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    January 17, 2013 6:18 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Metryce

    Omg that’s a real friend indeed I do so hope that someone take him home and give him the love that he gives .

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    January 17, 2013 8:30 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Tammy

    Send him to me. I’ll take good care of him.

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    January 17, 2013 8:36 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I’ll adopt him too. How?

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    January 18, 2013 4:50 amPosted 1 year ago
    Regardt

    If I could I would adopt Tommy, without even thinkings about it! Yes Tommy needs time to mourne, but just like humans, a dog olso needs a companion to help him through this time of pain. It breaks my heart to see Tommy alone.

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    January 18, 2013 1:30 pmPosted 1 year ago
    regina4u

    And the tears are still flowing.

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    January 18, 2013 4:44 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    God bless Tommy.May he always be safe and have daily food and water.May he find a new home and loving family soon!

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    January 18, 2013 9:44 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I THINK THAT IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT SOME CARING ANIMAL LOVER ADOPT TOMMY. TOMMY NEEDS SOME SPECIAL INDIVIDUAL TO BE HIS FRIEND. HE WILL KNOW AGAIN HE BELONGS TO SOMEBODY AND NOT EVERYBODY. I AM SURE HE WILL EVENTUALLY SETTLE WHEN THAT SPECIAL PERSON COMES FORWARD…… MAUREEN FROM..AUSTSRALILA

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    January 19, 2013 12:19 amPosted 1 year ago
    Greg

    Good grief! I wonder if all the people who want to help this dog in every way possible would be willing to help a fellow human being in the same situation. The dog may keep going to mass because the priest and others give him food. There is no force in the world that will guarantee loyalty in a dog stronger than food.

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      January 19, 2013 4:43 amPosted 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      well said , Greg . going to church has become a learned habit and the reward is food and attention the animal will miss the owner for some time after and then adapt to his/her new circumstances .

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    January 21, 2013 5:34 amPosted 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    GOOD GRIEF GREG.!!!….GOD GAVE US ANIMALS TO PROTECT AND LOVE, AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT BEING COMPASSIONATE AND CARING TO ANIMALS FLOWS INTO OTHER AREAS IN ONES LIFE…IN OUR PARISH IN AUSTRALIA, PEOPLE GIVE THEIR TIME VISITING THE SICK IN THE HOSPITALS, AND THE RETIREMENT HOMES …..BRINGING THE EUCHARIST TO THEM .THIS HAPPENS BECAUSE OF THE SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS
    BRINGING THE AGED AND HANDICAP TO CHURCH ON SUNDAYS…AND TEACHING RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION IN THE NON CATHOLIC SCHOOLS…THESE ARE JUST A FEW THINGS THAT THESE PARISHIONERS WHO LOVE ANIMALS DO…GOD BLESS YOU,,,,,,,MAUREEN FROM AUSTRALIA….

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    January 23, 2013 6:22 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Cheryl F

    Jesus Christ was born in a stable surrounded by animals – I like to think he would be especially pleased at the church’s kindness to this dog…..whatever you do to the least of us…..

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    January 30, 2013 10:03 amPosted 1 year ago
    Annette

    A heart-warming story! Animals give us unconditional love and sometimes it is the only love a lonely person receives. We would all be better people if we learned to love unconditionally the way animals do. Whatever the truth of the story it invoked a huge response.

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