Wednesday, March 1, was National Pig Day—and whenever I think of pigs, I cannot help but remember Harley, an amazing pig who touched my heart and the hearts of many lucky enough to know him.
Harley was a beautiful, 800-pound black-and-white pig who lived many happy years at BrightHaven sanctuary in Northern California. Five years ago, on July 11, he passed away—and is still sorely missed by me, so many of my students, and everyone who knew him. He was such an amazing soul that I feel the need to write about his life for those of you who didn’t get the opportunity to meet him in person.
Crowds, long lines, delays, lost luggage: Navigating a busy airport can be stressful in the best of circumstances—and it’s even worse during the busy holiday season. Luckily, at a number of airports nationwide, you can now find various animals on hand to reduce stress and anxiety, boost happiness—and, in some cases, even keep us safer.
At my local airport SFO, LiLou the pig greets weary travelers and calms nerves by offering snorts and selfies. She’s just one of about 300 therapy animals (including dogs, cats and rabbits) taking part in the airport’s SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy Program. But LiLou is special not just because of her adorable costumes and painted hooves, but also because she is the very first pig greeter!
One of the best things about Reiki is how deeply it relaxes animals, even those that are incredibly anxious, depressed or sick. Witnessing firsthand so many happy, calm and blissed-out animals following my Reiki sessions keeps me motivated every single day.
Below are a few of my favorite photos and videos of animals loving Reiki. Most of these were taken at BrightHaven, a holistic hospice for animals in Santa Rosa, California, where I’ve had the honor to teach monthly Reiki courses for more than 12 years: