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Wednesday
Jul172019

Cow cuddling is a thing and it costs $75 an hour

Mountain Horse Farm(NAPLES, N.Y.) -- If you love to connect with canines, you'll probably also enjoy cuddling with cows.

The practice is fairly common in the Netherlands but far less so in the U.S.

Mountain Horse Farm, a bed and breakfast in upstate New York, may be the only place in the nation to bear hug bovine.

Owner Suzanne Vullers told Good Morning America that the inn has offered cow cuddling since soon after the cows arrived last spring.

The Naples, N.Y., farm has long offered horse therapy for its guests, but she only became aware of the similar therapeutic benefits of cows on a trip to her home country of the Netherlands.

"Cows lie down much more than horses," she said. "They get very quiet and soft. Just siting with them makes people go quiet too."

Vullers stressed that her inn is "not a petting zoo." All the animals, she said, are free to make a choice about when and how they want to interact.

Guests learn how to interact with the cows and how they prefer to be approached. "We teach them the best practices," Vullers said. "How to walk up to them, how they greet each other." She said that because the cows have the freedom to interact with humans or not, when they do it makes the connection much more genuine.

The experience happens once or twice a day and scheduling preference is given to guests of Mountain Horse Farm. Vullers said tt makes for ease of rescheduling should something, like the weather, disrupts the cuddle. The cost is $75 per hour for two people.

As for the feedback, "people can't stop smiling," Vullers told GMA. When people connect with the cows, "nothing else exists. They forget their cell phones, forget themselves and the problems they have. It's a really unique moment."

And while the cow cuddling experience is getting more popular, Vullers said the inn has no plans to change the way they do things.

"The most important thing is the well-being of the animals," she said. "Maybe they have to wait until next year. The guests just have to be patient."

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