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A loyal dog has been waiting at the front gate of its house for two months hoping for its coronavirus-stricken owner to return home.

Marco Maiolani, 55, has been in hospital with the deadly disease since November.

But his dog Billy still goes to the front of the house every morning to wait for him – dragging his blanket and pillow with him.

Marco’s grandchildren said that half-breed Billy refuses to move from the spot in Lombardy, Italy and cries and howls for his owner.

And they added the dog sometimes refuses to go back inside for the night, where it always used to sleep curled in its owner’s shirt.

Marco is a volunteer of the Civil Protection – a national emergency service – and lives alone with his beloved pet.

The two have been inseparable for more than two years.

Marco said: “It was he who chose me. He immediately met me as if we had always known each other.

“I really miss him. It is priceless and irreplaceable company.”

Marco was hospitalised at San Matteo Polyclinic and spent days in the intensive care unit on ventilation.

He was then transferred for rehabilitation to a different facility, where he is still recovering.

He added: “We should learn from dogs, they give you everything.

“A little more time and then I’ll be back to normal. I can’t wait to hold my Billy.”