Sunday, July 18, 2021

Cow Cuddling Therapy

When you first hear about this you assume it’s satire, from the Onion or the Babylon Bee. In truth, the story appeared in The New York Post. As you read it, you realize that it’s perfectly serious.

Since it’s a new chapter in the ongoing effort to find new and better forms of therapy for the distressed and the anxious, it merits a post on this blog.

So, what’s the latest in therapy? Well, it's cow cuddling. You heard that right-- I am not sure whether it will get you off your meds, but it will make you feel better. So, go out and cuddle with a cow. Or else, snuggle. But, just make sure to keep it at the cuddle/snuggle level.

As it happens, this new therapy is a variation on equine therapy. An inn in upstate New York is offering the new treatment, conducted by the owner, by name of Suzanne. She has trained in equine therapy and bears no relation to the character in the Leonard Cohen song:

In 2017, Suzanne trained with a mental health specialist at the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) to become a certified equine-assisted mental health therapist, and in May 2019, with little fanfare, started offering guests the chance to cozy up to 4-year-old Stella and Bonnie for 60-minute therapeutic sessions.

I don’t know about you, but cozying up to a 4-year old female sounds perverse, even criminal to me.

The Post reports the story:

“A lot of people have stress and anxiety, and the cows are very good at lowering your heart rate and blood pressure just by being with you,” she said. “They are warm and furry and just present and calm, free of worry. That rubs off on people.”

In the pandemic, the outdoor, socially-distanced sessions really took off, and the Vullers just began welcoming guests back to come snuggle — and they are booking out fast. Because the cattle are on a schedule, “cow cuddling” happens daily at 11am and 2 p.m. on Thursday through Sunday, from May through October, for up to four guests at a time, who must also be staying at the B&B.

Do you need a description of the process? Perhaps you do:

Suzanne will introduce you, then take you out to the field and keep her distance, letting you pet, brush, hug, or just snooze on the wooly mammals. It’s not uncommon for guests to break out in laughter, smiles or even tears.

“Some people go inward and become really quiet, others cry because some trauma comes up,” explained Suzanne. “This hour gives you time to process everything you don’t have time for in your daily life. Cows are very good listeners — they don’t judge, they just breathe.”

After all that cleansing therapy, guests can finish the job of self-care with a massage at the farm, a hike through the Bristol Mountains or Watkins Glen State Park, a meal at a farm-to-table Naples restaurant or a soak in a carriage house hot tub.

All that remains to be reported is the price:

Rooms are from $180; cow-cuddling sessions are $75 for up to two guests, $125 for up to four guests (16 or over only) who must also book an overnight stay on the farm.

So, now you know the latest in therapy. Do you feel enlightened?


Sam L. said...

It's clearly a scam, but there are sooooooo mannnnny people who will be suckered in. I, personally, would advise those who do that to not wear their best shoes... There are cattle not far from my house...

whitney said...

The pathetic weakness and fragility of these people is nauseating. We don't have a mechanism to deal with the crazies anymore. When we were burning witches at the stake we were just burning these crazy women that are out there cuddling cows. I never thought I would look back and think that was a good idea

Sam L. said...

DANG!!@!! I forgot to tell you to be sure it's a COW you are cuddling with. Bulls don't like it...