We can never have too much cheer and positivity these days. If it’s worth smiling about, then bring it on.
Montreal-based photographer, Chantal Levesque delights in capturing animals in subtle and natural settings. Although her usual models are dogs, when she got the opportunity to photograph the famous ‘Fluffy The Therapy Pig”, she couldn’t pass it up for anything in the world. The adorable little pea is part of the Khalizoo Zootherapy team, a group of animals trained to comfort individuals dealing with emotional, psychological, social, or physical difficulties.
Levesque met the adorable Fluffy in 2018 and the pair hit it right off. They found a small garden blooming pink with fresh tulips and everything fell into place.  Fluffy glowed like a jewel among the flowers.
“I usually photograph dogs in natural light settings but when the opportunity presented itself to photograph Fluffy the Therapy Pig I went bananas,” says Levesque. “We were lucky to find these delicate fresh pink tulips for her portraits (pink is her favorite color).”
Fluffy also got to be the perfect little missy as she got her toenails painted a bright, fussy pink color.
Causing joy and drawing smiles
Fluffy is always a heart-stealer wherever she goes. That special photo session, for Levesque, will always be a lovely day to remember. Fluffy looked so cute with her spunky little nose, warm eyes, and adorable pink accessories that people couldn’t help but stop to admire her. Some even took photos of her.
“Lots of ‘awwwww’s were heard, people stopped to take photos of her and would just smile as they crossed her path,” Levesque said. “One can only imagine the joy and support she brings to people’s lives as a therapy pig!”
Fluffy doesn’t always need to meet up with people to deliver her therapeutic skills. Just viewing her adorable photos and Instagram videos might be all the cheer and brilliance your heart could ever need.
Pigs are so underestimated
Pigs are some of the most misunderstood animals in the world. They are super-sweet and highly intelligent, but since they are not always in conducive environments, people would rather not come too close to them.
Pigs are considered dirty because they enjoy rolling in mud or thickly murky water, but they do this because they don’t have a choice. Pigs have a minimal number of sweat glands buried under their skin, and unlike most other animals, they cannot regulate their body temperature through sweat.  As a result, these animals are prone to overheating.
While most farmers try to use water to cool their pigs, water dries off too quickly in the sun. Pigs prefer to roll in the mud because it dries slowly on their skin and helps them retain moisture for longer periods. Mud also acts as a sort of sunscreen for these poor animals. This adaptive behavior is also found in a few other animals like warthogs (pigs’ distant cousins), hippos, and even elephants.
They have to do what they can to survive, but if they are kept in cooler environments where their skin doesn’t have to heat up so much, they’ll thrive without all the mud and muck.
Pigs are intelligent and friendly animals, often displaying deeply maternal and communicative attributes. They are emotional, warm, and super-sweet. With their lovely temperaments, playful and mischievous dispositions, pigs are great animals for therapy services, although this will require a significant amount of formal training.
Love a pig today.