A German shepherd named Tommy whose owner died last year has been attending Mass daily for the last two months at the church where the funeral was held.

The late Maria Margherita Lochi used to take Tommy to services at Santa Maria Assunta Church in San Donaci, Italy, where the dog was allowed to sit at her feet.

When Lochi died, Tommy attended the funeral at the church and even followed after her coffin, according to locals. Ever since that day, the German shepherd faithfully makes his way to the church when the bells ring out to mark the start of services.

“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,” Father Donato Panna told The Daily Mail.

Friends of Lochi’s say that she adopted several stray animals, but that she developed a particularly close relationship with Tommy.

Although Lochi is gone, Panna says the village is now looking after him.

“Tommy's been adopted by everyone in the village now and he is everybody's friend. Everyone looks out for him and leaves food for him. Although it would be nice to find a proper home for him,” he said.

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Dog attends Mass daily where owner's funeral was held
The German shepherd makes his way to the Italian church each day when the bells ring to mark the start of services.