Staten Island, N.Y. -- If you're lucky enough to own a pet, you know that the memories you make are priceless. You know that the unconditional love of a furry friend makes your bad days manageable and your good days even better. And, sadly, you also know the enormous heartbreak that comes with losing that pet and the resulting void in your heart.
This past August, Lois and Richard Nicotra, owners of the Hilton Garden Inn, said their goodbyes to their tiny Maltese, Lorenzo.
Lorenzo the pup had a public presence on the Island and a namesake restaurant located in the Nicotras' hotel. When the news of his passing spread, the couple were overwhelmed by the kind words and actions from the comforting Staten Island community.
"We know that some people might say, 'Well, he's just a dog,' but to us, Lorenzo was a companion for nearly two decades of our life - and as our lives changed and we grew businesses or lost loved ones, Lorenzo was a constant, and this past year was really a long goodbye for Lois and me," shared Richard Nicotra.
After sweet Lorenzo passed in late August, Richard and Lois took a vacation to clear their minds of the devastating event. A couple of days later, Staten Island artist Scott LoBaido contacted the Nicotra Group Chief of Staff, Kristine Garlisi, and shared that he had also once lost a beloved pet named Nunzio and knew the emotional pain it imposed on a family.
LoBaido then asked Garlisi for images of Lorenzo so he could give the Nicotras a special memory to cherish. Garlisi agreed and sent him a few photos, including a candid shot she had snapped a few years ago as Lorenzo eagerly waited among some coworkers for his little taste of cake at one of the Nicotra Group's office birthday parties.
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