Fido, the 1940s Italian street dog who became famous for his loyalty to his dead maste

 
 
 
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Many people think that the dog name “Fido” is popular because that’s what Abraham Lincoln named his dog. But the Romans were naming their dogs “Fido” years before Lincoln, with the name meaning “I trust” in Latin. Here is an example of a dog named Fido that you really could trust.

Carlo Soriani was a laborer that lived in the little city of Borgo San Lorenzo, not far from Florence, in Italy. In the winter of 1941, Carlo was coming home from work when he heard a small yelp; it was a little street puppy lying injured by the road. He decided to take the tiny dog back home and look after it. It didn’t take long for the street puppy to recover from its injuries, and with the help of Carlo, it was soon a picture of health.

A street dog
A street dog

The dog was a mixed breed, mostly white with some black patches. They became very good friends and the little dog followed Carlo everywhere, so he decided to name him Fido. It even followed Carlo to the bus stop where he took the early morning bus to work. Fido would wait all day by the stop until Carlo returned back on the evening bus. When he would return, Fido greeted him with a joy that only real dog lovers can imagine. Every day was the same for the next two years, and everybody in the town knew about their friendship.

On December 30th, 1943, the Allies bombed the factory where Carlo worked and, unfortunately, Carlo was killed. That day, just as usual, Fido waited for his friend Carlo to arrive on the evening bus, but he never did.

Street dogs
Street dogs

Fido waited at the bus stop for a while and decided to go back at Carlo’s home, but he didn’t find him there. The next afternoon, Fido went again at the bus stop to wait for his friend to come back from work as usual, but again he was disappointed. Mr. Soriani never came, but Fido didn’t give up. He went there the next day, and the day after, and the month after, and the year after, and the decade after, hoping that his best friend would eventually show up and greet him. Fido spent 14 years waiting for Carlo’s arrival on the evening bus.

Everybody knew Fido and his story. La Nazione, an Italian national newspaper, even wrote an article about Fido. All across Europe, people heard the sad story of the street dog waiting for his dead master. In 1957, a ceramic statute of Fido was erected in his honor, but it was destroyed by vandals. Later, the town commissioned the bronze statue by Salvatore Cipolla that we can see today.

Dante square and monument to Fido. Photo Credit
Dante square and monument to Fido. Photo Credit

Fido later became the only dog in town that was allowed to be in public without a muzzle. By 1957, the whole world knew the story of Fido. He was awarded a gold medal in a ceremony at City Hall. In the summer of 1958, Fido passed away. He was laid to rest just outside the cemetery where Carlo Soriani is buried. Fido had finally met his best friend again.