The Gentle Barn offers cookie cuddling therapy sessions

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Do You Remember These Guys?  You Can Hug Them Now.  The St. Louis Six Included, From Left To Right, Houdini, Roo, Chico, Johnny Cash And Eddie.  - Thanks To The Soft Barn

  • Do you 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 considered the St. Louis Six after escaping from a slaughterhouse – are now available for cuddles.

The soft shed
(9171 State Road Y, Dittmer, 636-285-7686) offers cookie cuddle therapy. Guests feeling stressed – whether it’s COVID-19, the holidays or just life in general – can make an appointment to cuddle the cows.

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

“We will meditate with the cows, spend time cuddling and cuddling 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 prompted the founders of Gentle Barn to open the ranch in Missouri. After escaping a slaughterhouse, the cows ran around St. Louis and were eventually recaptured. But thanks to the efforts of 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 which cow you hug.

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Johnny Cash Is Waiting For A Hug.  - Thanks To The Soft Barn

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

Sessions last one hour; participants can bring a guest, but no more than two people are allowed. Donations are $200, before the appointment. To book a session, the Gentle Barn asks those interested to email Visit for more information you can view pictures of the cows.

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

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