History of Fido

Fido (1941 – June 9, 1958) was an Italian street dog that came to public attention in 1943 because of his demonstration of unwavering loyalty to his dead master, with a daily vigil for 14 years.

Fido probably began life sometime in the autumn of 1941 as an independent street dog in Luco di Mugello, a small town in the municipality of Borgo San Lorenzo, in the Tuscan Province of Florence, Italy. One night in November 1941, on his way home from the bus stop, a brick kiln worker in Borgo San Lorenzo named Carlo Soriani found him lying injured in a roadside ditch. Not knowing who 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 get off. He later arrived back home, but for fourteen years thereafter (more than 5,000 times) until the day of Fido's death, he went daily to the stop watching and sniffing the air in vain for Soriani to get off the bus.

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 the presence of Fido and Soriani's widow. Originally, the statue was sculpted in majolica but, a few months after the inauguration, some vandals destroyed it. Consequently, the Mayor of Borgo San Lorenzo commissioned Salvatore Cipolla to sculpt a new statue, this time in bronze, which replaced the first one and is still in Piazza Dant today.