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Cori and Joe – Fairmont’s Canine Ambassador Program

Cori Copley lounges on a plush bed, smack dab in the center of one of the most majestic hotel lobbies in the country. From her moss-green velvet throne, surveying her kingdom and subjects, Cori gladly accepts belly rubs and nuzzles and scratches from all those who adore her. 

“Cori is our most famous employee,” laughs Joe Fallon. “I work for her.” 

Cori Copley Fairmont Canine Ambassador Program

At select Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, the Canine Ambassador program offers guests and meeting attendees unique—and heartwarming—companionship. Travelers missing their furry friends or looking for a walking buddy can bring along the resident Fairmont dog for extra security and the comfort of home.

A quartet of Golden Retrievers resides at the Scottsdale Princess property. In Quebec City’s Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, travelers will meet a Bernese mountain dog. Ella and Ellie greet guests at the Vancouver Fairmont. 

And Cori, a six-year-old black Labrador Retriever, holds court in Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza. 

More than two decades ago, Joe Fallon tended bar at a large Boston hotel. A lifelong Boston sports fan, he grew up in Boston and “knew his way around the city.” Joe stashed maps behind the hotel’s bar to assist cocktail-sipping patrons with directions and suggest sightseeing stops.

When the bar began renovations, and Joe risked losing his job, the concierge manager suggested he apply for a job in his department. So he did. And Joe fell in love with the business of answering questions, providing information, and compiling itineraries. 

After some time, Joe considered a career change and interviewed at the smaller, more intimate Fairmont Copley Square. While talking with the supervisor, Joe noticed an adorable black lab napping under the desk. The supervisor introduced Catie, the first dog in the luxury hotel chain’s Canine Ambassador program. 

“Do you like dogs?” the supervisor asked. 

When he started at the storied Boston Fairmont, with its crystal chandeliers, Italian columns, neo-renaissance architecture, and historic surroundings, Joe and Catie’s handler took turns watching her during the day. And then the handler retired, and a dog became too much for him. 

Joe took over Catie’s care. She spent the workdays with him at the hotel and returned home with him each night. His lovable pal became an icon in the city. She starred in two children’s books. With a specially designed veil, she walked the aisle at a wedding at the hotel. Catie participated in book tours, a Bruins’ anniversary party, and wore a custom-tailored tuxedo in a fashion show. 

Joe Fallon

“She led a life,” says Joe.

In 2019, after Catie and her successor passed away, Cori came to live with Joe and continued the canine ambassador tradition. Like the other two Labs, the Fairmont adopted Cori from the Guide Dog Foundation. “She trained in the subway tunnels, so noise doesn’t bother her,” says Joe. She has no problem sleeping amid the hustle and bustle of the hotel lobby. 

Cori recognizes the travelers who visit often, and she’s a favorite among the many celebrities who stay at the Boston property. 

Almost twenty years later, Joe is a fixture at the Boston Fairmont. And so is Cori. She’s nuzzled her way into Joe’s heart and those of the staff, guests, and Boston community. If you’re in Boston, stop by the Fairmont and say hello to both!

PS—Training Dogs for the Military, The Heirloomist, The Backup Singer for George Strait, and How to Find Your It. 

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