Because Madison Palm, 23, always knew that her dog, Cora, had a sixth sense for human emotion, she got the canine trained to become a certified therapy dog. And because of this emotional support animal’s abilities, she never leaves on any trip without her dog. But while taking a trip from Idaho to Alaska, Madison lost her dog. And she was frantic to find Cora because she is everything to her.
Because the Corgi can find suffering humans and offer them kindness and “therapy,” Cora bolted away from her owner and approached a grieving man on their layover in Seattle. The man was visibly sad, hunched over in his grief, and Cora went up to him and gave him love.
“She is very empathetic and in tune with my needs, yet she is so incredibly independent,” Madison told TODAY. “Before I could even call her she was already at his feet being loved on. I asked him if she was bothering him. And with a somber face and watery eyes, he said, ‘No, no. I lost my dog last night.'”
Cora gave the man “therapy” for as long as he needed. Madison took out her phone to videotape the special occasion. And because she was in the “big city” from her humble home in Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho, Madison was overjoyed to watch her therapy dog doing good work while on a layover between flights.
The grieving man petted the dog and scratched behind her ears. He whispered about how cute he thought the furry animal was and how she made him feel better.
Madison was so proud that she had gotten Cora trained to be a therapy dog and that the canine was helping heal a stranger at the airport – even though she was not on the clock.
“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?'”
Madison remembers the moment she first saw Cora. While on the job at her at her county’s Department of Motor Vehicles, her coworker showed her a Facebook post on her phone about a corgi that was killing the family’s chickens and therefore must be given away.
Madison left the office early to get the dog. And from their first meeting, she knew that Cora was meant to live with her. And she was heartbroken to hear that the family neglected the corgi.
“Cora had never been to a vet,” Madison 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.”
She is amazed that this dog, neglected for years, has so much love to give – even to strangers.
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?” Madison said. “I can’t change her past, but I’m doing everything I can to make up for it.”