August 13, 2019

She doesn’t have a psychology degree, but her natural talents make her an excellent therapist: She is calm and accommodating of a range of personalities, with the patience to listen to endless problems without so much as a judgmental moo.

She is 3-year-old Bella and 2-year-old Bonnie -- Highlander-Angus cross-bred cows that provide animal-based therapy. Cow cuddling, as the practice is called, invites interaction with the farm animals via brushing, petting, or heartfelt chats with the bovines. The experience is similar to equine therapy, with one-game-changing difference: Horses tend to stand, but cows spontaneously lie down in the grass while chewing their cud, allowing humans to get even more “up close and personal” by joining them on the ground and offering a warm embrace.

The cows reside at the Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York and an hour-long session with one of the cows costs $75.

SOURCE: New York Times, 7/14/19