April 17, 2013: Leipzig, the Dog

~ by Mary Galvano

If there was ever a dog blessed among dogs it was Leipzig. This story was relayed to me by my mother about a wonderful priest at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Ft. Myers, Florida and his love for his dogs. It is story that will put a smile on your face as it sure put one on mine.

Father Jim Simko lost his dog, a long time companion and friend, Dusseldorf (city in Germany) two years ago. He has missed him greatly. As all animal lovers know pets are a big part of the family and to lose a pet can be heartbreaking. Recently Father Jim got another dog from the Animal Rescue Center in Bradenton, FL. The dog had been found as one of four puppies in a throw away box in Miami. They were full of worms, mange and malnourished. By the grace of God Father Jim adopted one of those dogs.

The new dog, Leipzig (another town in Germany) was lovingly brought to his new home at the rectory at St. Francis Xavier. From his past living conditions, Leipzig has been withdrawn and shy, but with the great love and care from Father Jim he is beginning to respond. He has not barked yet. Father Jim plays with him in the rectory courtyard and takes him on small trips. He sleeps in Father Jim’s room.

Father Gregg (the pastor), who also lives there in the rectory, gave Leipzig quite a startle. One morning hurrying down the stairs, Father Gregg encountered Liepzig and said “Good morning!” With that Leipzig took off as fast as he could and hid behind Father Jim who was in the kitchen making breakfast. And so it goes, Leipzig hides behind Father Jim whenever he sees Father Gregg coming. Father Gregg does love the dog, but both Father Jim and Father Gregg are having some good laughs over it.

Father Jim was surprised and greatly overjoyed when recently the Council of Catholic Women of St. Francis Xavier threw a dog shower for Leipzig. Food, treats, toys and all kinds of goodies were given to welcome the newest family member of the parish. Even a letter welcoming Leipzig to the world at St. Francis Xavier was included. The ladies had so much fun and laughter. Isn’t this a great idea to do for someone who is adopting a pet?

Leipzig is a blessed dog for sure. He is cuddly and really adorable. His black eyes are sparkling and very expressive. It is amazing what love can do even to a throwaway dog. God bless Father Jim and hopefully more people will follow his example of unconditional love for God’s special creatures.


Mary Galvano-Bajohr is a singer/songwriter, LPGA golf instructor, speaker and author. On the golf course she is a dedicated professional, but go to a Yankee game, a Pro-life event or other venue and you just might see her step up to the microphone and sing the National Anthem or the Ave Maria.

Visit Mary’s website at www.marygalvano.com.

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