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11/26/2013 9:56:00 AM
Furry friend tumbles into hearts at parish
Catholic Sentinel photo by Clarice Keating
Maddie keeps Rev. Mr. Timothy Furlow company as he works.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Clarice Keating
Maddie keeps Rev. Mr. Timothy Furlow company as he works.

There’s a newcomer romping and tumbling through the halls of the Madeleine Parish office.

Named by a vote of Madeleine School students, Madddie Francis is a 3.5-pound “chiweenie” (Chihuahua-Dachshund mix) who was born in mid-September.

While she is young, the tiny dog is the charge of Rev. Mr. Tim Furlow, who is training the energetic bundle to someday lead her own parish ministry. Parish leaders hope she will become an unofficial therapy dog, visiting sick and homebound parishioners.

“The students love her,” Furlow said. “I’ve never seen them so excited as when they get to play with the dog.”

Furlow is in a yearlong pastoral training in Portland as part of his seminary studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. As a boy, Furlow had a pet rabbit; this is the first dog he’s trained. Maddie comes from an Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals fair.

The puppy spends much of her time trundling after Furlow as he does his work around the parish. The entire staff is taken with her antics, which means she’s already accomplishing her assignment.

“[Her job] is to wander around the rectory and love everybody,” Furlow said.

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