1941 to Monday Jun 9, 1958
Borgo San Lorenzo, Tuscany, ItalyFido (1941 – June 9, 1958) was an Italian dog that came to public attention in 1943 because of his demonstration of unwavering loyalty to his dead master. Fido was written about in many Italian and international magazines and newspapers, appeared in newsreels throughout Italy, and was bestowed several honors, including a public statue erected in his honor.
One night in November 1941, a brick kiln worker in Borgo San Lorenzo named Carlo Soriani, on his way home from the bus stop, found the dog lying injured in a roadside ditch. Not knowing whom the dog belonged to, Soriani took him home and nursed him back to health. Soriani and his wife decided to adopt the dog, naming him Fido ("faithful", from Latin fidus).
After Fido recovered, he followed Soriani to the bus stop in the central square of Luco di Mugello and watched him board the bus for his job. When the bus returned in the evening, Fido found and greeted Soriani with obvious great joy and followed him home again. This pattern repeated every workday for two years: Fido would stay in the square, avoiding all others, waiting and sniffing the air until excitedly greeting Soriani and enthusiastically following him home.
This was during the Second World War, and on December 30, 1943, Borgo San Lorenzo was subjected to a violent allied bombardment: many factories were hit, and many workers, including Soriani, perished. That evening, Fido showed up as usual at the bus stop, but did not see his beloved master disembark.
Media interest in Fido grew during his lifetime. Italian magazines Gente and Grand Hotel published the story of the dog, which also appeared in several newsreels of the Istituto Luce. Many readers were struck by the extraordinary faithfulness of Fido, including the mayor of Borgo San Lorenzo, who, on November 9, 1957, awarded him a gold medal in the presence of many citizens including Soriani's moved widow.
At the end of 1957, when Fido was still alive, the Comune of Borgo San Lorenzo commissioned the sculptor Salvatore Cipolla to create a monument of the dog as a testimony of that exemplary story of love and fidelity. The work, entitled "Monument to the dog Fido", was placed in Piazza Dante in Borgo San Lorenzo, next to the municipal palace. Under the statue depicting the dog is the dedication: A FIDO, ESEMPIO DI FEDELTÀ (TO FIDO, EXAMPLE OF LOYALTY). The monument was inaugurated by the mayor of Borgo San Lorenzo, in presence of Fido and Soriani's widow. Originally, the statue was realized in majolica, but a few months after the inauguration some vandals destroyed it. Consequently, the mayor of Borgo San Lorenzo commissioned to Salvatore Cipolla a new statue, this time in bronze, which replaced the first one and that is still today in Piazza Dante.
On 22 June, La Domenica del Corriere commemorated Fido with a poignant cover story. The cover painting by Walter Molino shows Fido dying on the roadside, with the bus waiting in the background. Fido was buried outside the cemetery of Luco di Mugello beside his master, Carlo Soriani.