By: Sloane Hughes
Service animals who are trained to help those with disabilities or impairments, mental illness, or who suffer from seizures have been around for a long time, since at least the early 1900 ‘s. Therapy and emotional support animals, however, are quite a bit newer, (the first formal research into animal therapy took place in the 1960 ‘s) and in recent years they ‘ve become much more common. Typically it ‘s dogs who are trained for any of those three purposes, because dogs are smart and good and soft and just overall wonderful, but they ‘re not the only animals who can become designated service, therapy, or emotional support companions, and San Francisco International Airport has started to diversify their four-legged staff.
For a lot of people, flying or even just the bustle of airports can be extremely stressful and onset a lot of anxiety. That ‘s why SF International created the Wag Brigade, a team of dogs who are certified by the SPCA through their Assisted Animal Training Program, and then roam the airport terminals providing emotional support or even just smiles to anyone who needs it.
Now, however, it ‘s no longer just dogs who make up this elite team ‘ there ‘s also a pig.
Her name is LiLou, she is the first-ever SPCA AAT certified pig, and I would die for her.
LiLou, a San Francisco native herself, hangs out in the airport with a pilot ‘s hat so you know she ‘s official, and as you can see, her owner paints her nails. I am going to weep. Aside from just being absolutely goddamn delightful LiLou is house broken and knows a bunch of tricks like waving to say hi (oh my god) and even playing a tiny toy piano, complete with a bow at the end (oh my GOD).
She also has an Instagram account, which as of right now is the only thing on this earth that matters to me.
When LiLou isn ‘t blessing the San Francisco Airport with her presence and piano skills, you can see that she lives a very full life and enjoys many things. Like painting,
and going to the beach,
and fashion, she is a lady after all.
You can read more about LiLou and the rest of the Wag Brigade here.