When 45-year-old Andrea Cossu went on holiday to Pescara de Tronto with his wife and little cocker spaniel ‘Flash’, he had no idea the grim fate that awaited him, one of the 290 people who died in the earthquake and violent aftershocks in Italy last Wednesday. Mr. Cossu was hit by a collapsing building. His wife, and his little dog Flash made it out safely.
And out of the hundreds of people who were killed in the quake, what makes Mr. Cossu stand out? The devotion in the stout little heart of his cocker spaniel friend, who stayed vigil by his casket, even pawing it at times.
This story is a follow-up to the original story I wrote about the loyal little dog. It bothered me enough, that I put at the end of my story, “if anyone knows, let us know what happens with Flash.”
I hadn’t heard a word in our press, which really isn’t surprising. One little dog’s drama isn’t fodder for what cranks the news over here usually…I tried several combinations, then found an article in the Telegraph that answered all my questions.
At the time that I wrote the article, nothing other than Flash’s name, and that his master had been on holiday and killed were really known. Flash did his master proud, and stayed watch over him till he could no more.
Around the world, the love and loyalty of the little dog touched people’s hearts. In Japan, it called to mind the loyalty of Hachiko, the pup who loyally kept watch at his masters train station stop, for ten years after he had escorted him to the train station one day, waited for his return, but his master couldn’t come home, he had died at work. For ten years, in all sorts of weather, the loyal Hachiko waited on his master, till the day he finally was called home to him.
Over the years, townspeople and Hachiko’s wife made sure that Hachiko was taken care of. A statue of the loyal dog was commissioned and sat in the train station for many years. Recently, a new statue has been commissioned and set at the train station. It shows an estatic Hachiko greeting his loving master Hidesaburo Ueno, a university professor. at the end of the day, as he had so many times before. I like to think it might be their renunion ten years later, after Hachicko’s long wait for his master finally was over.
A half world away, in Dublin, people pass the iconic statue to Greyfriar’s Bobby, a little dog who faithfully lay at his master’s grave for the next 14 years after his master’s death in the 1800’s, might have given more than a passing look and a thought after hearing of Flash’s loyalty and dignity.
I found out that Mr. Cossu was not one of those buried in the mass graves. He was buried in Pomezia, the town south of Rome where he had lived with his wife and little dog. So, a bitter-sweet ending for a loyal buddy, Flash. Mrs. Cossu will take over care of her husband’s little dog, and Flash gets to live with people who know and have always loved him, in the familiar home he has always lived in. “The two of them (Cossu and Flash) were inseparable” relatives told the Italian media, according to the Telegraph.
much improved picture of Flash during his vigil by courtesy of the Telegraph
Picture of the two statues of Hachiko courtesy The Rocket
Picture of Greyfriar’s Bobby courtesy of History UK.
*There is a picture of Mr. Cossu circulating, holding up Flash and both are grinning into the camera. It had been taken from his Face Book page, and I didn’t feel comfortable using it, since this is a family in deep mourning.