Tommy, the loyal dog who attended mass every day and waited by the altar after his owner had passed away, died in his sleep at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. According to Maria Lochi’s son, 13-year-old Tommy was taken to the veterinarian on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.
On Feb. 13, 2013, the Italian paper the Chronicle wrote that Tommy had been taken to the vet by Maria Lochi’s son “Due to severe illness.”
Most Italian newspapers and anyone who is familiar with Tommy’s story is reporting that Tommy died in order to be with Maria Margherita Lochi, the woman who had rescued the stray German shepherd and adopted him.
Day after day, Maria and her loyal dog used to attend church mass together in the Santa Maria Assunta church in San Donaci in southern Italy. Throughout the mass, Tommy used to sit quietly at Maria’s feet.
When Maria died at the age of 57 last November, Tommy followed Maria’s coffin as it was carried by her community members to the church. During Maria’s funeral service, her loyal dog sat by the steps of the altar. Since Maria’s funeral, her loyal dog continued to attend mass and sit by the steps of the altar.
Maria Lochi’s son, Sebastian, posted the message of Tommy’s death on Maria Lochi’s and Tommy’s Facebook page on Tuesday.
“Purtroppo devo dare a tutti una triste notizia... Tommy non è più con noi! Si è spento nel sonno alle ore 15:45 a causa di un arresto cardiaco. Riposa in pace caro amico.”
“Unfortunately I have to give everyone sad news ... Tommy is no longer with us! [He] Went off in his sleep at 15:45 due to a cardiac arrest. Rest in peace dear friend.”
After communicating with Italy in regard to Tommy's specific sickness and cause of death, there is no other explanation provided other than that Tommy died of a broken heart.
The villagers believe that after waiting for months for his owner to return to the altar where he had last seen her, Tommy finally realized that she was not going to come back to him and that it was time for him to go to her.
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