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*Ciccio, a 12-year-old German shepherd, waits in vain in front of the altar of the Santa Maria Assunta church in the village of San Donaci in the southern region of Puglia.
He heads to the church as soon as the bells begin to ring each afternoon, just as he did for years when his owner was alive.
The woman, who was known in local dialect as "Maria tu lu campu" - "Maria of the fields" – died suddenly in November.