Famous Dog, Fido: an Example of FidelityLiz Mallia
Fido started his as a stray puppy, wandering the streets of Luco di Migello in Tuscany, Italy. Carlo Soriani worked in a brick kiln in the town of Borgo San Lorenzo. One winter evening, the two crossed paths. Soriani came across the pup as he returned from work on a cold November night in 1941. Fido was lying in a ditch: injured, alone, unwanted, yelping in pain. Carlo Soriani took pity on the black and white dog, and took him home. Together, Soriani and his wife nursed the hound back to health. They named him Fido, meaning “faithful”.
The faithful dog
As soon as Fido had recovered, he seemed to show his gratitude to Soriani through his loyalty. Every day when Soriani left for work, Fido went with him, walking by his side until they reached the bus stop. Every day, as Soriani left for work, Fido stayed behind in the square until evening, nose twitching and sniffing the air, searching for Soriani’s scent. The faithful dog sat alone, waiting patiently for the evening bus to bring his beloved master back to him. As soon as Soriani returned, Fido would joyfully rush to greet him, and the two would walk home together for dinner.
Fido and Soriani’s routine continued like this for two years, until tragedy struck.
Italy suffered under the bombardments of the Allied Forces during the Second World War. Citizens were often at risk of injury or death from aerial bombings. On December 30th 1943, a violent bombardment struck Borgo San Lorenzo, destroying several factories and leaving many injured or dead. That evening, Fido waited for his master, but little did he know that Carlo Soriani had been killed in the bombardment that day. Soriani had departed on his final voyage, from which he could never return.
Like so many faithful dogs before and after him, Fido continued to wait for his master. For the next fourteen years, Fido walked to the bus stop, waiting for Soriani, sniffing the air and wagging his tail, waiting and hoping.
Fido eventually caught the attention of the media, and publications such as La Nazione, Gente, Grand Hotel. Even Time magazine published the dog’s story. The tale of loyalty touched the hearts of many, and on 9th November 1957, the mayor of Borgo San Lorenzo awarded the dog a gold medal. The medal was presented in the town hall, with many citizens attending, including Soriani’s widow, and of course Fido himself.
Statue of loyalty
The Commune of the town also commissioned and statue and plaque as a testimony to the faithful dog. The original statue was made of majolica, but vandals destroyed it. The Commune commission a replacement, which was cast from bronze, and sculpted by Salvatore Cipilla.
Fido waited daily for his master until his death in the summer 1958. He was lying by the side of the road, still waiting. He was buried outside the local cemetery, not far from his dearest friend and companion Carlo Soriani.
The bronze statue of Fido can still be found in Borgo San Lorenzo, along with the plaque that reads: A Fido, Esempio di Fedeleta (To Fido, An Example of Fidelity).