The Italian Almanac


Dogs in Need

Residents in two southern Italian towns are rallying around two stray dogs with special needs. Tommy is welcomed and pampered by the priests at his local parish in San Donaci, where the 12-year-old German Shepherd-mix attends the same church services that once drew his mistress. Indeed, since her death Tommy is a regular at every baptism, wedding or funeral, rain or shine, says Father Antonio de Marco, assistant pastor of the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in San Donaci. "It would be nice if someone adopted it," adds the priest.

Meanwhile, posters around town in Alliste warn folks that Rocky is on a special diet after kidney failure. Yet despite his illness, he still enjoys a comfortable, leisurely life. That includes breakfast as his local bar, including a piece of croissant, then lunch at a local butcher, followed by a light evening meal of pizza or other restaurant leftovers. The local government covered his medical expenses when Rocky's kidney failed, and the town turned out to greet him after his release from the veterinarian.