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CORRIERE FIORENTINO, LA STAMPA, LA REPUBBLICA (Italy)

Worldcrunch

ROME - Meet Tommy and Toldo, two Italian pets deeply attached to their owners. In fact, they're still searching for them, months after they died.

Tommy is a German Shepard who lives in the town of San Donaci in the southern region of Puglia. He goes to Mass every day in search of his owner, Maria, because that’s the place he last saw her, reports La Stampa.

Ever since sneaking in to her funeral in the parish last November, Tommy has come back to the church every day since -- perhaps hoping to see Maria again.

Affectionately known by the congregation as “Ciccio” (pudgy), he comes to the church each morning and lies at the alter beside the priest, also attending weekend weddings and baptisms. When he sees a hearse go by, he follows along as part of the procession.

The priest Donato Panna looks after him, but they are looking for someone to give him a permanent home because at the rectory they can’t keep him.

#Ciccio, the dog that always goes to church twitter.com/pukenken/statu…

— «cycle16_M☺LLY» (@pukenken) January 16, 2013

Maria loved her companion and they went everywhere together. He waited outside shops for her -- and outside the church, too. La Repubblica writes that the first time Ciccio went into the church was at her funeral and he crossed the threshold sadly and slowly. The priest did not have the heart to chase him away.

"I had just lost my dog -- he was hit by a car," said Mayor Dominico Serio "and a few days ago while I was walking with my wife, we came across Ciccio and we immediately thought of adopting him. When we called him, he came and gave us his paw- he is so friendly. On the way home we discovered that everyone in town had already adopted him, feeding him what they could! I didn’t have the heart to take him away from the community. He’s everyone’s dog.”

Me-ouch

Toldo, a cat from the Tuscan town of Pistoia, is another pet who also misses his dearly departed owner, Renzo -- and indeed, visits his grave every day, often leaving tokens of affection.

#Curiosidades#EnItalia El gato #Toldo vuelve cada día a la tumba d su amo. Le lleva ramitas, hojas, vasos.. @dpachecoctwitter.com/Yerbatero5781/…

— Eduardo Haro Párraga (@Yerbatero5781) January 10, 2013

Renzo’s widow, Ida, told Corriere Fiorentino that often she would go in the afternoon to see her husband’s grave with Toldo and people would tell her that Toldo had already been there that morning, carrying acacia branches in his mouth to the grave.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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