Adorable Pig Calms Stressed Travelers At San Francisco Airport

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LiLou, the therapy pig debuts at SFO (Photo Credit: Flysfo.com)

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: FlySFO.com

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: FlySFO.com

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.

Resources: voanews.com, flysfo.com, mashable.com

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VocabularyPlay Game

anxiouscaninedemeanorhandlersharriedhooveshousebrokenmanicuredtherapytwirlunderwent
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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?
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Critical Thinking Challenge

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

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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 ...

451 Comments
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  • madden999
    madden999Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 6:12 am
    cool
    • ThatpersonTuesday, February 27, 2018 at 6:38 am
      i dont like this article. i mean the pig is cute, but forcing a pig to dress up and putting nail polish is just cruel. Animal Cruelty. yeesh you guys "love" animals.... yeah no you dont
      • XD LOLimagirlFriday, September 29, 2017 at 10:50 am
        so cute
        • Sally98987Monday, August 14, 2017 at 2:28 pm
          Aww i like girl pigs
          • RBLX34Monday, August 14, 2017 at 2:25 pm
            Aww a pig that is helpful LOL XDD
            • zozozMonday, June 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm
              SO AMAZING its my new bf
              • NationwideMonday, June 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm
                Thats A great idea!
                • cool_____fun!!!Friday, May 26, 2017 at 11:48 am
                  i think she so cute
                  • GabrielWednesday, May 17, 2017 at 5:11 am
                    awwwww
                    • Anonymous Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:02 am
                      Cool the pig dose tricks and cool stuff can I do a back flip

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