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When Pets Mourn: Italian Dog And Cat Can't Say Farewell To Departed Owners



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.”


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.. @dpachecoc twitter.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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Giulia Cecchetin, An Italian Murder That Epitomizes 21st-Century Femicide

Cecchettin was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend in northern Italy, a murder case that has quickly turned into a political movement. The supposed motive is chilling in what it says about the current state of male-dominated society.

A women standing in front of a large protest holds her hands together to form a triangle shape

Turin, Italy: A moment of the march in the streets of Turin after the feminicide of 22 years-old Giulia Cecchettin by his ex boyfriend Filippo Turetta on November 21, 2023.

Annalisa Camilli


ROME — On November 11, Giulia Cecchettin and her ex-boyfriend Filippo Turetta went missing after meeting for dinner. For a week, Italians followed the case in hopes that the story would end with two lovers returning home after going on an adventure — but women knew better.

As the days went by, more details of their relationship started to come to light. Filippo had been a jealous, possessive boyfriend, he had not dealt with Giulia's decision to break up very well, and he constantly hounded her to get back together.

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When Giulia's body was found at the bottom of a lake in the northern region of Veneto, with 20 stab wounds, Italians were not surprised, but they were fed up. Vigils, demonstrations and protests spread throughout the country: Giulia Cecchettin's death, Italy's 105th case of femicide for the year 2023, finally opened a breach of pain and anger into public opinion. But why this case, why now?

It was Elena Cecchettin, Giulia's sister, who played a vital role. At the end of a torchlight procession, the 24-year-old university student took the floor and did something people weren't expecting: she turned private grief into a political movement. Elena distanced herself from the role of the victim and took on the responsibility for a future change.

"Filippo is not a monster; a monster is an exception, someone external to society, someone society should not take responsibility for. But here that responsibility exists," she said confidently, leaving everyone breathless.

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