The Gentle Barn offers cow hug therapy sessions


Click to enlarge

  • Remember those guys? You can kiss 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 considered the St. Louis Six after escaping from a slaughterhouse – are now available for cuddles.

The sweet barn
(9171 State Road Y, Dittmer, 636-285-7686) offers cow hug therapy. Guests who are feeling stressed – whether it’s from COVID-19, the holiday season, or just life in general – can make an appointment to kiss the cows.

A press release from Gentle Barn states that pet therapy can improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and release endorphins to “have a calming effect.”

“We’re going to meditate with the cows, spend time hugging and cuddling them,” the Gentle Barn website reads. “At the end of our time together, you will feel more optimistic, inspired, and deeply connected to yourself and the world around you.”

The St. Louis Six are what prompted the founders of Gentle Barn to open the Missouri farm. After escaping from a slaughterhouse, the cows ran around Saint-Louis and were eventually captured. But, thanks to the efforts of the Saint-Louis, the cows were saved. Founders Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner described some of the cows at RFT in a 2017 cover story: Johnny Cash is silent; Chico is still the leader; Houdini is “the most Zen”; and Roo is a “cookie freak”. You can’t go wrong no matter which cow you hug.

Click to enlarge
Johnny Cash is waiting for a hug.  - WITH THE AUTHORIZATION OF LA GRANGE GENTLE

  • Courtesy of The Gentle Barn
  • Johnny Cash is waiting for a hug.

Sessions last one hour; attendees can bring one guest with them, but no more than two people are allowed. Donations are $ 200, payable before the appointment. In order to book a session, the Gentle Barn asks those interested to send an email to [email protected] Visit for more information and to view photos of the cows.

Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]

  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest news, things to do and places to eat straight to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Comments are closed.