If you’ve ever questioned whether dogs truly are “man’s best friend,” this story will surely solidify your views. Every day, a German shepherd whose owner died last year has reportedly been showing up for mass at Santa Maria Assunta Church in San Donaci, Italy. See, the funeral for his owner, Maria Margherita Lochi, was held at the house of worship. And the woman also brought the dog with her to the church each day, creating a bond that leads Tommy, the loyal 7-year-old canine, to take the daily journey back to the building.

Before her death, Lochi would let him sit at her feet during mass — something the pooch hasn’t forgotten. While some people would assume that a church isn’t necessarily the most appropriate place for a dog, congregants and leaders apparently enjoy Tommy’s presence.

German Shepherd Named Tommy Attends Mass Daily at Santa Maria Assunta Church Where Owners Funeral Was Held

Photo Credit: Nikonarte Fotografia/Daily Mail

“He’s there every time I celebrate mass and is very well behaved. He doesn’t make a sound,” Father Donato Panna, a faith leader at Santa Maria Assunta Church, told the DailyMail.”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.”

The priest said that he couldn’t bring himself to throw the dog out, as he recently lost his own hound. So, he lets Tommy out each day after mass concludes.

Following Lochi’s death, the dog has apparently been adopted by the community. While Father Panna hopes that a permanent home is soon found for him, for now, the entire village leaves out food for the canine, as he has been “adopted by everyone.”

The heartbroken dog, clearly commemorating his owner’s memory, showcases just how intense the relationship can be between animals and their masters.

(H/T: Yahoo! News)