A fearless golden retriever named Romeo has been pulled from debris nine days after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Italy.
The dog was found by firefighters who were accompanying Romeo’s owners to the ruins of their home in the tiny village of San Lorenzo a Flaviano to help them collect any belongings they could salvage. As the firefighters neared the debris, Romeo started barking.
“We immediately began moving masonry from where the barking was coming from and incredibly we got to him and he was in pretty good condition,” one of the firefighters told the ANSA news agency.
“Luckily some beams had fallen in a way that they were holding up the weight of everything above them, leaving Romeo with a little niche that he was able to survive in.”
Incredibly, Romeo didn’t seem at all perturbed by the traumatic event. After being unearthed by the firefighters, he shook himself off, wagged his tail and scurried down through the debris to reunite with his owners, who had given up all hope of finding him.
They had spent hours searching for him after the earthquake struck on August 24, but were evacuated for their own safety before they could find him.
Unfortunately, most of the victims of the earthquake didn’t get a happy ending like Romeo. The death toll stands at 296 people, and no human survivors have been found since the evening of August 24.
You can donate to the Italian Red Cross here.
Locally, chef Tony Percuoco will be including rigatoni alla amatriciana — a dish that originated in the town of Amatrice, which was virtually wiped out by the earthquake — in his menu at Ristorante Tartufo and Wine Bar (Emporium Hotel, 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley) throughout September. The dish costs $25 and all proceeds will be donated towards the reconstruction of Amatrice.