Meet LiLou, the ‘therapy pig’ helping nervous travellers fly home

This adorable airport resident is bringing smiles to the faces of anxious flyers.

We’ve surely all had at least one stressful travelling experience. Whether it was the time airport queues meant you missed your flight, or when that suspiciously-stale looking ham sandwich ensured a very shaky start to your trip.
What we all would have needed in that moment, was a little bit of relaxation time, and who better to provide such a feeling of bliss than a little piggy dressed up in a tutu?
Internet, meet LiLou; San Francisco’s first airport therapy pig.
The speckled Juliana pig is the first to be certified in the Animal Assisted Therapy Program of the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the very first non-canine addition to the ‘Wag Brigade’ - a litter of 22 trained therapy dogs that currently roam the international terminals inviting stressed travellers for a cuddle with “Pet Me!” jackets.
With her perfectly painted nails, the almost two-year-old is renowned for her iconic looks, which include a ballerina, a nurse, a pilot and a butterfly.

Besides simply looking adorable, this little piggy sure packs some talent! She can stand on her hind hoofs, play a toy piano and do an elegant twirl, all of which are finished off by an impressive post-performance bow.
“I can see that she is happy showing off her tricks and getting her praise,” said LiLou’s owner, Tatyana Danilova, to USA Today. “It also brings positive emotions to me seeing that we can do something good for the community and bring more smiles in some unconventional way.”
LiLou currently visits SFO’s terminals about once a week, but when she’s not bringing ease to anxious passengers, she ignites joy in patients of the city’s senior centres and hospitals.
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