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, 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 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 disembark. Fido later returned home, but for fourteen years thereafter (more than 5,000 times) until the day of his death, he went daily to the stop, watching and sniffing the air, waiting in vain for Soriani to get off the bus.
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. Time magazine wrote an article about Fido in April 1957.
Fido died still waiting for his master on June 9, 1958. The news of his death was announced to the public by the newspaper on a four-column front-page story in La Nazione. 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.