Originally published in ZimEye
Ciccio, a 12-year-old German shepherd, still turns up each day at church two months after his owner Maria Margherita Lochi, 57, died. He waits in front of the altar at the Santa Maria Assunta church in the village of San Donaci, for his owner to appear.
Ciccio attended his mistress’s funeral. He followed the coffin as it was carried into the church. According to The Telegraph, since the funeral, he heads to the church each afternoon as soon as he hears the bells ringing, as he did for years in the company of his owner while she was alive.
Ciccio’s owner was known popularly in the village as “Maria tu lu campu” (“Maria of the fields”). She took ill and died suddenly in November.
The dog’s devotion has so impressed villagers that they have adopted him. Villagers come to church with gifts of food and water. The church authorities let him sleep in a covered area outside the church.
The dog appears to mourn daily for Maria, who was known in the area for her love of animals and adopted him, according to Sud Italia News.