Who is Frankie the pot-bellied pig?

Paul KnoepflerOne of the great things about having my lab here in Shriners Hospital of Northern California on the UC Davis Medical Center Campus is the spirit of the amazing kids here.

Facing severe injuries these kids are true heroes and are far braver than any adult I know, but they still need assistance in various ways of course. Some of that is medical and some of it is in helping them still feel like a kid despite being in the hospital.

Service animals such as dogs can have a very positive effect on the kids.

Now there’s a new service animal on the team in the form of Frankie, the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. I got a chance to meet Frankie today (see picture above….I’m the one on the left, Frankie’s on the right just in case you were wondering). Frankie exudes calmness and is very cool. Reportedly the kids respond amazingly well to this 3-year old pig and I can see why.

I also have to thank Frankie for interrupting the faculty meeting I was attending!

2 Comments


  1. Service animals are beneficial and comforting. They rekindle hope and connection (for old people too) This is the first I have seen a pot bellied pig on the job! It would be awesome to have a lab in Shriners. Do kids ever ask for a tour? They might like seeing how cells grow, it would make bio classes come alive!

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