So, you'd like to meet the animals? They have been kind enough to pose for a couple of photos and to provide brief bios for your reading pleasure.
Bowie the dog
I'm a Maremma - which means I have the job of looking after everybody and everything - including you. I'll make sure the foxes will keep away from your accommodation and that the chickens don't try to hop into your bed. If they do, don't you worry, I'll give a bark to let you know. I can jump all the fences within the property, which is fine with my mum. That way I can help any animal or human who needs me. I have a special collar that makes sure that I stay inside the boundary of the property as I'm a bit of a roamer - or so they say.
Just so you know, I'm not allowed inside the accommodation (my feet do get muddy), but my mum lets me into her lounge room so we can all get warm in front of the fire in the evening. I do bark a bit, but only because I'm protecting you all, just remember that :-).
Miss Daisy the dog
I am the youngest of this crew. My brothers and sisters and myself were dumped in the mountains and I was the last to be caught, I'll admit to being a smarty. I was taken to the pound, but luckily Bronwen was keeping an eye out for me. She had met my brother Clyde who is a cutie and thought I would be the perfect addition to her animal family. I get along with chooks, cats, dogs, pigs and horses. But in all honesty, the ducks freak me out a bit. I am a little shy but am getting over this every day. BTW do you have any nice shoes for me? The more expensive the better. They make THE best chew toys.
Flora the pig
I'm hoping there's no favouritism in the order that the animals are listed here?
You can treat me a bit like a dog (did I just say that?!), in the sense that I can't see very well so I like to smell your hand before you touch me. I can be a bit shy and frighten easily if I don't see you coming. But wave food in front of my nose and I can go pretty crazy, so I would suggest you DON'T do that.
I like doing my own thing and can be a bit bossy. And as I'm pretty heavy (see, every cloud can have a silver lining) I suggest you observe me rather than annoy me. I do like having my belly rubbed, especially when I'm lying in the sun, but I do have to be in the right mood for that.
You may not know this - but my mum was told I was a mini pig. There is no such thing in Australia at any rate. Breeders keep pigs small by starving them, and I can tell you something, pigs don't like being starved.
I'm not allowed through any gates as I like to cause a bit of havoc (throw things around in the chook yard, for example). So, make sure I stay on the side where the cars are, even though I am smart (I AM a pig) I'm never sure if that's the front or the back of the house. It's MY side of the house, let's call it that.
I don't know why it is but those dogs are always picking on me, stealing my carrots.
We love living at Tomah retreat. A number of us come from a battery farm (that's us in the photo) - no need to explain the horrors of that, we're sure. The rest of us have lived here forever - with our names being things like Shanti (I'm black), Elsa (yes, I'm a white silky), Faith (I'm pretty), Belle (I'm beautiful). Then there are the boys... pretty gorgeous :-). You can join Bronwen when she feeds us in the evening. We often have babies in summer so you might even get to hold a baby chick.
Mister the Cat
I am the eldest and biggest and most forbidding of all cats. I mean, all cats. Everyone thinks I look spectacular - and although I’m a rescue cat, I look exactly like a Norwegian forest cat.
When I feel affectionate do be careful as I don’t know how to retract my nails. So, I’ll cuddle you but it might be painful. Do be careful.
Here I am with Rosie in the background.
Charlie the Cat
I am special to Bronwen. She always thought a ginger boy cat would appear before her, and one day I did. I was at the vets hoping someone would want me. All my brothers and sisters found a home together but apparently that family already had a ginger. We’d been found as babies in someone’s backyard without a mum.
I’m such a gentle, sweet cat - I’m a bit shy but love a cuddle if you see me.
Precious the Cat
I’m still a little kitty but I assure you I am the boss of this place. Everyone lets me eat their food and sleep in their beds. Bronwen thinks I’m a bit of a Svengali - somehow I’ve managed to get everyone to do just what I want and I look cute as hell - especially my left eye that is a little crossed.
I love to greet you, check out your rooms, and follow you around. Catch me if you can!
The Ducks - Bill and Ben
It’s a great life - sunbathing, swimming, diving and eating - that’s about it. Just watch us and feel envious…