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 core 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 and running cooking classes, she is a volunteer and tour guide at Edgar’s Mission farm animal sanctuary. She is also completing yoga teacher training, and hopes to share this with guests in future.
Suzy, who puts the ‘Hooves’ in ‘Hilltop Hooves’
Suzy is a 24 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 and cuddles she deserves. Suzy keeps everyone amused with her trotting, rolling and dramatic yawning.
Buddy, the George Clooney of the Dog World
A sweet 11 year old boof head, Buddy was rescued from death row at the age of 2. A rottweiler x marshmallow, he is the biggest sook you’ll ever meet and loves nothing more than a cuddle. He may be slowing down and greying with age, but this noble old boy retains his George Clooney good looks and charm.
Quincy, The Awkward One
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.
The New Kids on the Block – Sven and Leroy
Our newest residents were rescued by Edgar’s Mission, after discovering these adorable young goats 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, cheeky 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.