I once described myself as a nervous flyer to a friend, who scoffed and started listing off all the ways that I could die instead of in a plane crash. But what she didn’t understand is just what it is that stresses me out. See, it isn’t that I’m afraid of my plane crashing or anything like that. In fact, given that my father is a licensed pilot and I’ve been up in smaller aircraft for most of my life, I’m probably less afraid of flying than most people.
What I’m nervous about is missing my flights.
And that’s not without reason, in many cases. I’m one of those people who gets pulled aside in airport security lines nearly every time—and each time for something more bizarre than the last time (most recently, it was because the security guy had no idea what a cribbage board was and could not explain the medium-sized wooden object that was traveling in my luggage with me).
But it’s not just the stress of missing your flight; there are plenty of other stresses that can occur during any sort of air travel, including flight changes and delays, trip planning, and more. So yes, air travel can be a stressful experience—but you don’t want to ruin your entire trip by stressing yourself out in the airport!
Fortunately, the San Francisco airport has come up with a great way to combat this. And just move aside, all you therapy dogs, because there’s a new animal in town.
Specifically, LiLou the Pig.
Now, I’m all for having animals comfort me during stressful times. That said, I’ve never seen a therapy pig before—but I’m definitely not complaining. Just look at this adorable thing and tell me that you aren’t already going aww. (Especially when she’s dressed up in her various costumes!)
At the moment, San Francisco also has approximately 300 animals meant to help you cope with travel stress, including dogs, cats, and rabbits, but having a pig as part of their group is a new one. In fact, they’re the first airport in the US to have a pig as a member of their therapy team.
Hopefully, they aren’t the only ones to adopt this idea!
So how do you find LiLou the pig during your layover? I’d recommend heading to the closest information desk and asking there—or you might be lucky enough to just see LiLou and one of her handlers taking a stroll through one of the terminals.
Enjoy your time!