Airport therapy pig hogs the limelight

Pigs can't fly, but they can help make air travel less stressful.

Meet LiLou, billed as the world's first airport therapy pig.

The five-year-old swine is part of San Francisco airport's 'Wag Brigade' - a mostly dog-staffed program that brings therapy animals to the airport to cheer passengers up and ease their anxieties.

Adorned with a pilot's cap and red toenails, LiLou raises her hoof for a handshake...

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KATIE SCHROEDER, 8, FROM SAN RAMON, CALIFORNIA, SAYING:

"She can do tricks like a dog!"

...poses for selfies and entertains departing passengers with a tune on her toy piano.

[UPSOUND TOY PIANO]

When not working, LiLou lives with owner Tatyana Danilova in her downtown San Francisco apartment, enjoys a diet of organic vegetables and protein pellets, sleeps in her own bed and goes for daily walks.

And like most humans, having a job is just as important to LiLou's wellbeing as it is to those she aides, says Danilova.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) TATYANA DANILOVA, LILOU'S OWNER, SAYING:

"Pigs have the intelligence of a three year old human child. And for them, it's important to stimulate their intelligence and make sure that they're not bored. So volunteering and visiting facilities like this helps her stimulate her senses and her intelligence."

All the therapy animals take part in a training program with the San Francisco SPCA and must have stable temperaments, good manners and friendly personalities, says Jennifer Kazarian, the airport's guest services manager. In other words, traits to engage nervous fliers.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JENNIFER KAZARIAN, GUEST SERVICES, SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SAYING:

"We walk in and we find today that most people have their heads buried in their devices, they are not engaged. We walk in, they respond super-positively. They start to engage with each other. It's like a sense of community that we are forming with our guests."

And as for little "accidents" on the carpet, Kazarian says there haven't been any issues. All the animals, including LiLou, are fully house trained.