Paul Grech's 'little buddy' Mozart the miniature schnauzer has been there for him through thick and thin

Paul and Mozart's story is part of a series on Hawkesbury people and their pets, featuring the work of Gazette and Courier photographer, Geoff Jones.

WHEN Richmond resident Paul Grech's wife Jen passed away from cancer at a young age last year, his world was torn apart.

There for him throughout his heartache was his "little buddy" Mozart, a black and silver miniature schnauzer.

"He's been a great companion for me since Jen has passed away," said Mr Grech.

"He travels with me most days in the passenger seat of my car, travelling all around, and he sleeps at the foot of my bed."

Mozart, who is two years old, loves nothing more than food, a good pat, and being with his owner.

"I used to always frown at those weird animal people and dog owners, but since owning him I've turned into one of those people - one of those weirdos that lets their dog jump all over them and all over everyone else!" Mr Grech laughed.

"[Before I got Mozart] my sister-in-law wanted me to sign a petition to let dogs into her local pub and I said 'You've got to be crazy!' And now I'm the one that turns up everywhere with his dog."

Mr Grech doesn't go as far as buying outfits for his furry companion, but he does take Mozart to a local Hawkesbury business every six weeks to be groomed.

He's been a great companion for me since Jen has passed away. He travels with me most days and sleeps at the foot of my bed.

Paul Grech

"Whenever I post pictures of him [on social media] people say he looks angry all the time because of the way he has his eyebrows groomed," Mr Grech said.

"But he has to look his best because he's currently looking for a girlfriend!" he laughed.

Far from being angry, Mozart is a friendly ball of fun who loves going on walks, and is an important part of the Grech family.

"He loves people. He's an intelligent dog. I can tell him to sit, stay and eat his food."

Mozart wears a bespoke name tag that Mr Grech had mailed from America.

Mr Grech is about to start training for a 40-kilometre marathon in Canberra next year, and Mozart will be his training companion during some of the shorter runs around their local neighbourhood.