Adorable Pig Calms Stressed Travelers At San Francisco Airport

By Meera Dolasia on December 11, 2016

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LiLou, the therapy pig debuts at SFO (Photo Credit:

On December 5, San Francisco Airport (SFO) officials introduced LiLou, the newest member of the Wag Brigade, a group of friendly therapy dogs that roam the airport terminals to provide comfort to harried travelers. However, LiLou is not a canine, but a small breed of pig called Juliana. The two-year-old is the first pig to be certified with the SPCA, Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program, in the United States.

While just the sight of the adorable porker, who sports scarlet nail polish on her perfectly manicured nails, is enough to coax a smile from even the most anxious traveler, LiLou is more than just a pretty face. The talented animal can greet fans with her snout or wave, thank them with a shake of her tail, and even entertain them with live music on her toy piano. SFO officials say the pig even takes a bow after each performance!

Photo Credit:

As if that is not enough, LiLou can also push a ball with her snout and stand on her back hooves and twirl like a ballerina. She is also housebroken, an important skill for someone who has to roam airport terminals, two hours at a time.

San Francisco SPCA spokeswoman Krista Maloney, says the idea of LiLou becoming a therapy animal came from her owner, Tatyana Danilove. But of course, having a friendly demeanor and love for humans is not enough to qualify. Maloney says Lilou underwent the same training as the dogs and only after she passed with flying colors, was she included in this all-important Wag Brigade family that boasts 300 canine members.

Photo Credit:

Given that LiLou’s schedule with her handlers is still not set, there is no sure way of knowing when she will be at SFO. Airport spokesman Doug Yakel says they expect the pig at least once a month and adds, “We may end up making her visits a surprise.” When not helping calm nerves at the airport, Lilou can often be found bringing cheer to the sick at local hospitals and visiting the elderly at retirement homes.


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Reading Comprehension (7 questions)

  1. What is the Wag Brigade?
  2. How is LiLou different from the other members of the Wag Brigade?

Critical Thinking Challenge

Which one of LiLou’s talents impresses you the most? Why?

Vocabulary in Context

“While just the sight of the adorable porker that sports scarlet nail polish on her perfectly manicured nails is enough to bring a smile on the face of even the most ...

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  • cool_____fun!!!Friday, May 26, 2017 at 11:48 am
    i think she so cute
    • GabrielWednesday, May 17, 2017 at 5:11 am
      • Anonymous Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:02 am
        Cool the pig dose tricks and cool stuff can I do a back flip
        • bittybugxo3
          bittybugxo3Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 7:15 pm
          OH MY GOSH!!!! That little pig is so cute!!!!
          • ShannenSunday, April 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm
            This is so cute!
            • bekahboo
              bekahbooTuesday, April 11, 2017 at 6:52 am
              I love that! That was a dorable
              • Name Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 12:38 pm
                This was so adorable! Pigs are so awesome. I wish i was in that airport
                • toxictopic
                  toxictopicTuesday, March 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm
                  This would totally calm me down. I've been wanting a piglet for so long now! I just love pigs they are 2 cute for me xD
                  • blora Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 8:29 am
                    i love her la la la so cute la la la la
                    • lovey doveyWednesday, March 15, 2017 at 10:22 am
                      soooooooooooooooooo cute i almost cried on how cute it is now i whant to go see her

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