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Friday, December 3, 2021

The Gentle Barn Offers Cow Hugging Therapy Sessions

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2021 at 12:09 PM

click to enlarge Remember these guys? You can hug them now. The St. Louis Six included, from left to right, Houdini, Roo, Chico, Johnny Cash and Eddie. - COURTESY OF GENTLE BARN
  • Remember these guys? You can hug them now. The St. Louis Six included, from left to right, Houdini, Roo, Chico, Johnny Cash and Eddie.

Johnny Cash, Chico, Roo, Houdini and Eddie — a group of cows deemed the St. Louis Six after escaping a slaughterhouse — are now available for hugs.

The Gentle Barn
(9171 State Road Y, Dittmer, 636-285-7686) offers cow hugging therapy. Guests who are feeling stressed — whether from COVID-19, the holiday season or just life in general — can book an appointment to hug the cows.

A press release from the Gentle Barn details that animal therapy can improve cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure and release endorphins to “produce a calming effect.”

“We will meditate with the cows, spend time hugging them, and cuddle with them,” the Gentle Barn’s website reads. “By the end of our time together you will feel more hopeful, inspired, and deeply connected to yourself and the world around you.”

The St. Louis Six are what drove the Gentle Barn founders to open the Missouri farm. After escaping a slaughterhouse, the cows ran around St. Louis and eventually were recaptured. But, through efforts from St. Louisans, the cows were able to be saved. Founders Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner described some of the cows to RFT in a 2017 cover story: Johnny Cash is quiet; Chico is still the leader; Houdini is “the most zen”; and Roo is a “cookie monster.” You can't go wrong no matter what cow you'll be hugging.
click to enlarge Johnny Cash awaits a hug. - COURTESY OF THE GENTLE BARN
  • Courtesy of The Gentle Barn
  • Johnny Cash awaits a hug.

Sessions are one hour long; attendees can bring a guest with them but there are no more than two people allowed in. Donations are $200, due before the appointment. In order to book a session, the Gentle Barn asks those interested to email Visit for more information to view photos of the cows.

Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at
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