From tree changers to shelter rescues, the residents of Hilltop Hooves each have their own unique story.
When you arrive, Sophia will help get you settled and is happy to answer any questions on what to see and do in the area. After that, you’re welcome to interact as much or as little as you like.
Sophia, City Slicker turned Country Gal
Sophia never thought she was a risk taker… until one day she decided to walk away from a successful career in Melbourne to pursue a dream of life with rescue animals in the country!
If you’d asked her a few years ago, it was a very different story. An urban dweller climbing her way up the corporate ladder in the travel industry, she was a meat eater who avoided vegetables at all costs. Often unwell, not only from the veggie avoidance, but also from stress.
But it’s funny how life can take you down a path that changes everything.
It all started with Sophia’s love of dogs, which lead her to volunteer on the weekends at a dog shelter with her wonderful husband Stan. This lead to them to fostering dogs, which in turn lead them to see that other animals weren’t so different. They went vegetarian for two years, and finally two years ago decided to go vegan.
Sophia wanted to ensure they did it properly, so she completed a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through e-Cornell University. And not only did she feel amazing and stopped getting sick, she began to enjoy cooking and experimenting with recipes – and even better, realised how delicious vegan meals can be!
Truly living in alignment with their values shifted Sophia and Stan’s whole lives, for the better. It changed what was important. And gave them the courage to take the plunge and fulfill their dream of moving to the country.
Sophia is so excited to share their beautiful home and delicious plant-based meals with guests. As well as being the host of Hilltop Hooves Vegan B&B, she works at Edgar’s Mission farm animal sanctuary with tour guiding and community engagement. She is also completing yoga teacher training, and hopes to share this with guests in future.
Suzy, the Old Gal
Suzy is a 25 year old ex-pacer who has been living on the property for over 20 years. When her previous elderly owners needed to downsize, they couldn’t find a home for this cheeky old gal. Her future was uncertain, so Sophia and Stan made sure she stayed and received all the love she deserves. Suzy takes her Great Aunt duties for the young goats very seriously.
The New Kids on the Block – Sven and Leroy
These cheeky goats were rescued in December 2018 by Edgar’s Mission after discovering they were going to be euthanised if they didn’t find a new home fast. Volunteers Sophia and Stan embarked on a three-hour road trip to central Victoria to rescue them, and in the process fell head over heels for these affectionate, adorable boys. When their new home fell through, Sophia and Stan leaped at the opportunity to adopt them. Sven (white) is the brave explorer of the two, while Leroy (black) is the ultimate lap-goat and loves a cuddle.
Quincy, the Zoomie Expert
A Labrador born to be a customs sniffer dog, Quincy’s irrational fear of stairs and escalators saw him fail at the final hurdle. In need of a home, he exchanged working dog life for all-day snooze fests, back scratches and zoomies. We’re pretty sure he knew exactly what he was doing. Now an 11 year old, he still thinks he’s a puppy.
Bluey – from Rags to Riches
Bluey, a 3 year-old Blue Heeler x was rescued from a house of squalor by Save-A-Dog Scheme in April 2019. His back leg muscles had wasted away so it’s believed he wasn’t able to move. He came to Hilltop Hooves terrified of humans, but loving his new brother Quincy. He is now learning to trust again, and we can’t wait to see him blossom into the beautiful pup we know he is!
In Loving Memory of Buddy
Buddy was a sweet old boy who was rescued from death row at the age of 2. A rottweiler x marshmallow, he was the biggest sook and loved nothing more than a cuddle. He spent his final 11th year living out his country dream before passing peacefully in our arms. His memory lives on.