Is the “Dog of Pompeii” a True Story?

The short story “The Dog of Pompeii” is historical fiction, meaning the story takes place in historical times, yet characters and plot elements are exaggerated or invented by imaginatively reconstructing historical events. In this case, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius is a real event, but the dog’s story is fictionalized.

The short story focuses on the life of a blind orphan boy named Tito and his dog, Bimbi, during the last days of Pompeii, near the city of Naples. The climax of the story features Bimbi’s ultimate sacrifice to save his companion and master. Although a dog was found buried in the rubble of Pompeii, the reason is unknown as to why the dog failed to leave the city during the eruption. “The Dog of Pompeii” was written by Louis Untermeyer in 1915.