Madison Palm wasn't surprised when her corgi, Cora, went ambling away from her at the airport in Seattle.
"She is very empathetic and in tune with my needs, yet she is so incredibly independent," Palm told Today.
Cora, a rescued pup who travels everywhere with Palm, is being trained as a therapy dog. The pair were en route from their home in Idaho to visit Palm's mother in Alaska when Cora wandered over to a man who was sitting alone at their gate. Before Palm could call Cora away, the charismatic corgi was at his feet getting petted. Palm realized he had tears in his eyes.
Palm discreetly took a few photos of the pair and posted their interaction on Facebook.
Afterwards, Palm posted about the encounter on Facebook.
"Cora quietly tip toed away from me during our crazy long layover and plopped herself right next to a complete stranger. He gave her scratches, told her how cute she was, and proceeded to take a photo of her; he also shared with us that he lost his beloved dog the night before. I’ve never had a doubt that Cora can sense those who are hurting and those who need companionship and love. She is a natural born therapy dog in every way. I am so blessed to call her my dog 💕"
Cora sat with the man for a while as he continued to pet her and talk to her.
"I truly think she has a gift. She knows who is hurting and she knows who needs her," Palm said. "Once he told me that his dog passed away I looked at Cora and I thought to myself, 'You are so amazing. How did I get so lucky?'"
Palm adopted Cora in July 2017 after hearing that the corgi was being given away to the first person who wanted her. She had been kept outside most of her life, had had many litters of puppies and was underfed and in bad health, Palm told Today.
Because Palm already had another dog named Stu, she had to find a new place to live with two pups. Now, Cora is healthy and happy and helps Palm with her anxiety and strangers with their sadness.
"I am blown away by her on a daily basis. Who knew a dog who was unloved for 7 1/2 years could have so much love to give?" Palm said. "I can’t change her past, but I’m doing everything I can to make up for it."