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Monk famous for training dogs dies

July 5, 2007 at 11:55 AM   |   Comments

NATICK, Mass., July 5 (UPI) -- The Rev. Laurence Mancuso, a founder of a monastery in New York State famous for its ministry of training German shepherd dogs, has died. He was 72.

Mancuso died June 10 after a fall in Natick, Mass., where he lived after retiring from New Skete Monastery in 2000.

Mancuso and 12 other monks founded the monastery in Cambridge, N.Y., in 1966 and began breeding German shepherds. "Father Laurence had a tremendous love for dogs from the time he was a boy," said his brother, Norman Mancuso.

In 1978, the New Skete monks wrote the book, "How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend," now in its 40th printing, and in 1991 they wrote "The Art of Raising a Puppy," which has been reprinted more than 20 times, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

Mancuso founded New Skete with a vision to renew Eastern Christian monasticism. In 1979 he and his fellow monks joined the Orthodox Church in America.

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