San Francisco Airport's New Therapy Pig Can Comfort You On Standby
The Juliana-breed pig's "Pet Me" vest cues passengers into the courtesy cuteness
Missed your flight and waiting (hoping) for the next available seat? There’s a therapy pig for that.
If you’re flying out of San Francisco International Airport, a Juliana-breed pig named LiLou can calm a common case of the airport crazies.
The pig — who sports costumes and painted nails — is the first known airport therapy pig in the United States, according to a press release, and is a member of the airport’s Wag Brigade team of pets, all certified by the San Francisco SPCA’s Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) program.
LiLou “promises to surprise and delight guests at SFO,” says the release, adding that, “LiLou loves performing tricks for her audience, and also visits several other facilities in San Francisco including senior centers and hospitals.”
The Instagram photos of LiLou are enough to make any discouraged traveler smile (see here how she looks in a Miss Piggy-esque wig), but seeing her in real life must really be a sight for sore eyes.
“We have more than 300 dog, cat and rabbit volunteer teams, but LiLou is the first pig in our program,” said Dr. Jennifer Henley, SF SPCA animal assisted therapy manager. “It’s wonderful to witness the surprise and delight that LiLou brings to people during therapy visits.”
The pig’s amazing costumes — she reported for duty in a nurse outfit to a hospital recently — seem to snort, er, suit Lilou just fine. “I went for a walk dressed as a present today to spread joy and holiday spirit!” says one Instagram photo.
The Wag Brigade, which launched in 2013, carefully selects animals like LiLou for their “temperament and airport suitability,” and all wear vests that read “Pet Me!” to cue passengers into the courtesy cuteness.