HOW L I LOU AND ANIMALS L IKE HER CALM STRESSED-OUT TRAVELERS Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig
happy Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60.The San Jose Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport.They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of theWag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets.
and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying.They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months.These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags.
So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip! Patients “Four kids, ages 9–3, in and out smiling and giggling from a phenomenal experience.Thank you!”
“Thank you to Dr. Norige and his wonderful team for bringing back my smile that I have been wanting to show for many years but couldn’t because of all the dental issues caused by my diabetes.”
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“Thank you, SouthWindsor Smiles family!You’ve been taking great care of me and, now, my husband.The kids will be in soon, too! Never before was I excited to get dental work done until I started coming to your office! I cannot thank you all enough!”
“I always leave here laughing — yes, from a dentist!They’re all very friendly, understanding, and caring, and they always make me comfortable. Not to mention, they do a great job on my teeth!”
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