Francis of Assisi is the Roman Catholic Church's patron saint of animals, so it should come as no surprise that this monastery has welcomed an adorable little dog into its fold.
The Franciscan monastery of Cochabamba, Bolivia, shared that a little schnauzer pup joined its sacred fold and is now their littlest Friar. And, he’s undoubtedly the cutest, too.
The dog’s name is Carmelo but that is too ordinary for such an important pup. in his new position, he was given the title of Friar Bigotón (that's Spanish for "mustache"). He even has a tiny Franciscan habit to wear around the monastery.
Friar Bigoton was once a stray but was adopted and is now adored in his new home. Things really looked up for the special dog when he was taken in by the Franciscans and now, he’s surrounded by nothing but love.
"His life is all about playing and running," Jorge Fernandez, a fellow friar, told The Dodo. "Here, all of the brothers love him very much. He is a creature of God."
Running and playing are not the only duties that Friar Bigoton is responsible for. He has other important daily tasks, such as watching over the Koi ponds, being a friend to all, warmer of hearts and laps, and being a generous giver of smiles.
Here he is “preaching to the fish," wrote Franciscan Kasper Mariusz Kaproń, who first posted these adorable photos online.
But there is a serious side to Brother Carmelo. He is also helping other dogs that need loving homes, just as he once was. He’s paying (or pawing) it forward in the most adorable way, ever.
Carmelo’s adoption was made possible by the animal rescue group, Proyecto Narices Frias (Cold Nose Project). The Cold Nose Project hopes that Carmelo’s sweet story will spread and serve as inspiration for more monasteries to open their arms to needy pets.
"If only all the churches of our country adopt a dog and care for him like Friar Bigotón," the group wrote in a post on Facebook, "we are sure that the parishioners would follow his example."
We share his story to also bring awareness about all the amazing pets out there that need homes. When we open our hearts, we can do so much. Please share this story with your friends.