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Town Helps Family Keep Their Dog After His Well-Loved Owner Died Unexpectedly

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A community in Rhode Island is banding together to help a local family keep their beloved dog, as well as their home.

The dog, a 180-pound English Mastiff named Winchester, and his dad, 74-year-old David Contildes, were both very well-known and well-loved in their town of North Smithfield.

Contildes would often be seen walking Winchester around town every day, and sometimes even three times a day. Whether it was raining, snowing, or sunny, Contildes always made sure to walk him and said it was his most exciting part of the day.

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The two even became a social media sensation when a picture of Contildes walking Winchester began circulating around the Internet with the caption, ‘Name a better duo, I’ll wait.’

Sadly, Contildes passed away last month after falling and hitting his head while letting Winchester back inside.

Contildes’ absense has left a huge hole in not only his family’s hearts, but also their pockets. They are struggling both emotionally and financially without him, and feared they would have to give up Winchester if they couldn’t manage to pay their house.

“We really want to keep the dog,” Contildes’ daughter, Hannah, told 10 WJAR. “We really want to honor my dad’s memory with Winchester and we love him. When we went to go see my dad and say goodbye to him my mom promised that we would do everything to keep him and if we have to move I know it would be hard to find a place for a big dog.”

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Their community has been nothing but supportive after learning of the loss of Contildes, and have banded together to help raise more than $13,000 for the family to keep both their house and Winchester.

The community has always had a soft spot for the duo.

“When he passed everyone was sharing stories about how they would talk to him on his walks,” Hannah said. “Even the North Smithfield police said they would stop and talk to him from time to time. It was really nice to hear that.”

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