Airports have been utilising therapy dogs for a number of years, as a way of reducing passengers’ stress levels. The idea is that passengers get to pet the dogs and thanks to some canine magic, are instantly relaxed.
San Fransisco airport has had therapy dogs since 2013, but now they’ve added a new animal to the team, and it’s a two-year-old pig called LiLou.
LiLou, who is the first pig to be certified in the Animal Assisted Therapy Program of the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has a whole variety of costumes that she wears to greet passengers – including an adorable “Pet Me!” vest.
Don’t mind if we do, LiLou. Don’t mind if we do.
LiLou also offers passengers her very own trading card with a list of facts about her, and she is able to perform a number of tricks such as standing up and twirling, waving at people, and playing a toy piano.
“I can see that she is happy showing off her tricks and getting her praise. 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.” said LiLou’s owner, Tatyana Danilova.
Up to three therapy dogs can currently be found on duty at San Francisco airport during the week and have been incredibly popular with passengers, but the airport had been looking to use other animals too. Airport spokesman Doug Yakel has said that when they learned that LiLou was a certified therapy animal, they knew that she had the potential to be a very popular addition.
“We expect her out here at least once a month,” said Yakel. “We may end up making her visits a surprise.”
Is it wrong that we want to book a flight to San Francisco just to camp out in the airport…?