Woman finds her corgi comforting grieving stranger in the airport

Madison Palm has always known her dog Cora is special. It’s why she’s having Cora trained and certified as a therapy dog; it’s why she always travels with her.

“She is very empathetic and in tune with my needs, yet she is so incredibly independent,” Palm told TODAY.

The 23-year-old was still surprised, and deeply moved, by something Cora did when the two were recently flying from their home in Idaho to Alaska to visit Palm’s mother.

On a layover at the Seattle airport, Cora approached a man who was sitting by himself near their gate.

“Before I could even call her she was already at his feet being loved on. I asked him if she was bothering him,” Palm said. “And with a somber face and watery eyes he said, ‘No, no. I lost my dog last night.'”

Cora stayed with the man for a little while. Palm, who lives in Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho, recalls the man scratched behind Cora’s ears, petted her and whispered to her about how cute she is. It was a profoundly emotional encounter to witness.

“I truly think she has a gift. She knows who is hurting and she knows who needs her,” she 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?'”

This is how: Cora has lived with Palm since last summer. Palm, who is a deputy assessor title clerk at her county’s Department of Motor Vehicles, was in the break room at work. A co-worker was browsing Facebook on her phone and told Palm she’d seen a post about a corgi who was killing a family’s chickens and was therefore being given away to the first person who came for her.

Palm left work right away to meet the dog. She learned the dog was underfed and had been kept outside for nearly her whole life. She’d had many litters of puppies.

“Cora had never been to a vet,” Palm said. “She didn’t have a cute collar or a shiny tag with her name on it. The little food that she received was her owners’ scraps, which were thrown into the yard for her.”

Palm already had another dog and knew her landlord wouldn’t allow two. She’d have to find a new place to live if she took in Cora, but Palm felt she couldn’t leave the dog behind.

On the drive home, Cora crawled into Palm’s lap “and she never looked back,” Palm said.

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