Stressed Traveler? Airport Therapy Dogs Come To The Rescue

by Chris Dong

Your flight is delayed for the fourth time. Off you trek to Auntie Anne’s for yet another pretzel to hold you over. You’re on your last nerve and dreading the thought of having to potentially spend the rest of the evening at the airport.

Suddenly, a pack of fluffy beasts come frolicking towards you, each of their steps in unison with each other. No, you’re not hallucinating. This is San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the mighty “Wag Brigade” of airport therapy dogs have arrived. Each dog has their mind set on one thing only — to get your mind off of your travel woes.

Airport Therapy Dogs AKA The ‘Wag Brigade’ 

airport therapy dogs

Source: FlySFO

The Wag Brigade is a team of 22 dogs strong that are deployed at SFO to quell anxious travelers and provide a refuge from the hustle and bustle of flying chaos. Each good boy (and good girl) is specially trained to handle the numerous pets, selfies, and excessive handling from flyers.

There is also an airport therapy pig (the world’s first), named Lilou.

airport therapy dogs

Source: FlySFO

As SF Gate reports, this team of pups (plus pig) at SFO started in 2013 and has quickly expanded since. They are all graduates of the San Francisco SPCA’s Animal Assisted Interactions (AAI) training program — that means they know exactly what to do with travelers and they know to not be distracted by the airport food court (and that Auntie Anne’s pretzel in your hand).

Stressed out travelers or those that are going through tough times (like perhaps flying to a funeral) will appreciate the SFO airport therapy dogs aka the Wag Brigade squad. Unlike the invasive TSA version, these dogs are trained to appreciate a pat down.

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