Lampo the dog was born in the United States. It is commonly believed that a dog becomes attached to its home and its owner, but not all animals fit this stereotypical image. Lampo – loved to travel. His first big voyage was aboard a ship that was sailing from America to Europe. The dog slept under the sailor’s seat for most of the trip. Once in Europe, the dog continues to realize his attraction to transportation.
Elvio Barlettani, a railway station master in Italy, recalled that the dog fell in love with trains. The dog became Elvio’s friend. Every day Lampo boarded the train and traveled to Rome from the Tuscan coast. Moreover, according to eyewitnesses, Lampo liked to ride in passenger cars. Stealthily sneaking into the car, the dog would hide under the passenger seat so the driver wouldn’t notice him and kick him out. Almost always the animal managed to remain unnoticed.
In eight years, Lampo has made about 3,000 trips. However, only once did the animal miss the train. The rest of the time he came to the platform with enviable punctuality.
But it was not only train rides that Lampo devoted his life to. He found time to escort the station master’s daughter, Virna Barlettani, to school, often meeting her and walking home with her.
Not everyone was sympathetic to Lampo’s hobby. One day an inspector wanted to get rid of the animal and ordered his employees to load it into a train car heading south. The inspector ordered the train employees to throw the dog out in the open countryside as far away from Campilla as possible. A few weeks later, the dog returned. Tired and wounded, he still found his way to his beloved station, where his friends lived. The dog had covered a distance of more than 300 kilometers.
The traveling dog died in 1961. Its interesting life did not go unnoticed. In 1968, the dog was immortalized in stone. Campiglia-Marittima Station, a small coastal town in Italy, the place where the monument to Lampo, the traveling dog, stands. The animal sits near the railroad tracks and looks intently at the departing trains. Over time, the dog becomes a favorite pet of the town’s residents. His pictures and photos adorn the bars, cafes, and administrative building of the train station. The locals talk about the dog with interest to the visitors of the town and journalists.
It is not only in the monument and photographs that the story of the traveling dog survives. The railway station master Elvio Barlettani wrote a book about his friend. The book is called “Lampo the Traveling Dog”, which was included in the list of recommended literature for children. Many adults also read this book filled with kindness.
In addition, Look and Learn published James McCrnnell’s book, “Famous Dogs: Lampo the Wandering Dog.”