Promoting understanding
and compassion for animals



Welcome and please introduce yourself!

Posted in: Di's diary16 Comments

Let me first say, welcome to Tallara Park!
It is my deepest hope that people will find this site supportive, informative and thought provoking and that through our conversations we can learn a little more about ourselves.

My own journey of discovery is well documented and I encourage you to read through the various pages that outline my dream, this blog, the property and the animals that call Tallara Park home. This journey is also the subject of my book “And not a word was spoken… Reflections of an animal lover” and I hope you will contribute your thoughts and opinions on the various excerpts.

One of my purposes in creating this site, apart from promoting compassion for animals is to help other animal lovers on their own personal journeys. In some small way I’d like my experiences over the past forty odd years to maybe be a catalyst for their own discoveries. To quote a line from my book… “I believe that we have all been born with a purpose and it is our decision whether we wish to fulfil it. But I think change begins with understanding and until we understand who we are, we cannot even begin to imagine what we can achieve.”

But for now I’d love to hear about you. What is your story? Are you in love with animals in general or do you just have a special or treasured animal companion? Have you like me, experienced a powerful connection with a non-human animal or animals? At what age were you labelled an ‘animal lover’? Do you feel great peace in the company of animals? Do you feel an instant connection with other animal lovers? What is your dream?

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  1. Shona said on 15/04/2011 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Di, thanks for the lovely site. I wasn’t born with the intense passion for animals you were blessed with, but I was born with a strong sense of compassion, justice and courtesy. I regard myself as respectful towards all creatures but most loving towards those of my personal acquaintance – particularly my “Mister” (4 year old black lab/kelpie/border collie). Pet ownership was somewhat accidental for me, and the real, true, honest-to-goodness love that followed came as a surprise; but what a special thing it is to love – and be loved by – an animal. I now find that my regard for people is affected by my perception of their regard for animals, and in some cases, my prejudice against someone has been completely erased after witnessing their affection for an animal!
    I look forward to following your adventures with your companions at Tallara Park and wish you good luck with them and this site!

  2. Margi Thurgood said on 16/04/2011 at 11:44 am

    I never doubted that my sister’s dream of having a sanctuary for animals would be realised. Even as a small child it was clear that she had great love for the pets in our family and all the strays that she rescued and nursed back to health. Di has always had the the courage to live her dreams. She has inspired me since her birth and I am blessed to be her sister.

  3. Nikki said on 16/04/2011 at 10:28 pm

    Well done on completing your Blog. You are such a clever girl! I also admire the passion you show all of your 4 legged (and 2 legged) friends. I look forward to following your adventures online. Nikki

  4. Kelly said on 18/04/2011 at 12:50 am

    Di, while I have always known of your passion for and dedication to animals this website trully shows the extent of that passion. It has been during the long walks and talks we have had over the years that you have enlightened and educated me about animals and increased my awareness of their needs and individual characters.
    I have really enjoyed reading about the many different animals characters and feel I know nearly as much about my four legged neighbours as I do about my 2 legged ones. I chuckle to think about people reading about Psycho chicken and realise now I never had a chance in tempting Percy to stay at our place.

  5. Chris Solomons said on 18/04/2011 at 9:09 am

    This book is amazing, Di!….. It is so nice to read other people’s experience with their furry companions!! I had my heart melted by a 14 year old chihuahua,Gypsy, and although she was only in my life for a very short time, I will always hold her dear to me for opening up my life to the special bond between humans and animals.. I have of course had other dogs, my current little man, Pete was rescued from the pound, as have all the dogs I’ve owned. Love the book Di, and thank you again for the pleasure to share your experience!

  6. Rosina Saunders said on 19/04/2011 at 11:20 am

    Animal lovers always find each other, don’t they. Sue Lobsey told me about your site after she met you through her piglets – how about that!! I was raised in a harsh environment, which extended to the treatment of animals – especially the farm dogs. I now know that passion and respect for animals is something one is born with – at the age of 4 I remember being beaten solidly by my stepfather for unchaining and bringing the blue healers into the house out of the rain. (This was my first intervention in what I considered unfair treatment of an animal). I carry deep respect and appreciation for all animals and the unique place they hold in the overall scheme of things – they can teach us so much if we will only open ourselves up to their lessons. My life has been enriched by the presence of my four legged friends and I cannot imagine my life without them. I look forward to being able to share thoughts and experiences with you.

  7. diana said on 21/04/2011 at 1:42 am

    Thanks for your encouragement everyone. It is great to hear from you and already some amazing points have been raised. I was interested Shona when you said that “Pet ownner ship was somewhat accidental and came as a surprise”. I can totally understand this because even I have been blown away by the bond that has developed between myself and some of my animals (and I am a self confessed animal lover). I felt so sad to hear Rosina’s story of being beaten for showing compassion for animals. Over the years I have had people think of me as maybe a little strange but I have never faced anything like that kind of adversity. I really admire your courage and tenacity and obvious love of animals, Rosina. So thanks again everyone, looking forward to chatting with you regularly and sharing our thoughts and stories.

  8. Nadine Marshall said on 21/04/2011 at 10:34 am

    Diana, you have done a fantastic job with this website. Congratulations Diana it’s not only informative it’s also bringing other Animal lover’s together, allowing them to also share their stories, all for the greater good of our Animal friends and companions.
    Well done Nadine Marshall Bowen For All Bodies.

  9. Bronwen said on 23/04/2011 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Di,
    Lovely to meet up again – if only online (and we just live up the road form one another). Being a crazy animal lover too I am so pleased to see your website and book!
    I have a 1 year old miniature pig, Flora, whom I adore. She is the most cuddled of all our animals I think. Her vocal delights are such an encouragement to further petting :-) .
    I see you have a link to the Human Society. I am just reading a book by the president of the The Humane Society of the USA, Wayne Pacelle. It’s called The Bond; Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.

  10. Diana said on 24/04/2011 at 3:19 am

    Hi Nadine and Bronwen,
    Great to hear from you both and great to hear from someone else with a pig. Yes I got my pigs from ‘GV’ – a lady called Sue who has commented on a couple of the posts.I will probably ask lots of questions as I know so little about them but am very eager to learn. I did some research on the internet and was quite amazed by what I read.
    Also about the Humane Society. I was fortunate enough to work for a wonderful man for the past five years at ASK Learning who introduced me to the Humane Society. He aslo helped start an animal welfare organisation in India called Wildlife SOS and is currently over there doing volunteer work for them. I must put their link up too. I have too much admiration for these organisations!

  11. Rebecca said on 11/05/2011 at 2:49 am

    Hi Di and everyone. I love your site, blog, your animals and your sanctuary! I think what you’re doing is wonderful.
    I’ve heard of Wildlife SOS in India, they do great things.

    I love all animals great and small. I used to be an ‘animal lover’ who ate animals… then one day it hit me. What am I doing? I was exposed to the film Earthlings and other related materials on and it changed my life forever. My heart and soul aches for what our animal brothers and sisters live through on this earth each day – ever since I went vegan my entire outlook on life has changed.

    I have one goal: to help animals, save animals and try and educate others on the treatment of animals and how our everyday choices impact their lives (this is not easy!).

    My journey started with a tiny black cat who I bottle fed from 3 weeks of age… that set me on the path to rescuing 7 more cats and many other little critters… I have a special passion for birds, particularly parrots who suffer immeasurably in captivity. My dream is to create a parrot sanctuary and free as many as possible from their cages. I’d also love to rescue farm animals. It’s a great way to educate and spread awareness of their desire to live and love life just as much as we and our dog and cat companions do. I greatly admire the work of the Gentle Barn in the U.S who not only save lives, but conduct education campaigns which is so vital.

    I always feel an instant connection with animal lovers. It can be quite alienating being surrounded by humans who simply don’t want to know about things that are too difficult to think about – factory farming, slaughterhouses, animal testing and so on. It’s wonderful to know however that there are others out there like me – we aren’t alone, we’re just few and far between!

    I look forward to reading more of your blog in future :)

  12. Shelly Braunisch said on 18/05/2011 at 12:08 am

    Hi Di,
    Loving this site of yours. I am also a mad animal lover. I have had all types of animals. Often neglected animals or animals from the pound. One of my biggest loves was my border collie cross Milly. Who was a stray that wondered onto my Dad’s property. I took her home. She was so scared. If my husband spoke she was petrified. If he tried to sweep the back patio she would bolt. The only reason I could find for this is she was abused by a man. Milly would fetch the ball when the kids played cricket. She would hear the school bus and run to meet the kids up the road. She loved us and we loved her. She was a massive part of my family. Milly was a much loved resident of Ivy lane. She was really scared of thunderstorms and would hide under anything to try and get away from them. One day she was hiding under my car when I accidently ran over her. My heart still aches. The grief was incredible. We all loved her so much. She was only 5 years old. This may be a sad animal story but what amazed me was how much not only me but all my family loved her. I have to say that you are living my dream. Keep up the good work. I love visiting you and going far a walk around your property and saying hello to all your furry friends. Thankyou so much for sharing Tallara Park.

  13. The Beagle said on 01/09/2011 at 6:59 am

    I have aways had a strong sence of compassion and equity – even as a child. I think that my admiration and respect for animals comes from an innate respect for all beings and for the biodiversity of our amazing planet.

    So I don’t necessarily identify as an animal lover, more that I deeply respect them and their rights to exist for their own purpose. I feel the same for both native and domestic animals.

    Having said that, my love for animals that have come into my life is unconditional and whole hearted. The first time I felt that strong heart connection was with my doberman Emah. Having left home at 18 for a place that I knew no-one, that dog was my friend, protector, companion and comfort. I’m sure I couldn’t have forged my way without the strength of my beloved dog. 14 years we spent together, years that shaped my very existance.

    I have had a few wonderful canine conpanions since then but I couldn’t sign off without mentioning our wonderful Nooy. The most loyal, kind, protective, casual, caring, nuturing girl you could hope to meet. Nooy died a few months ago now. Every day we miss her, we will love her forever.

  14. rachele wildmare said on 19/12/2011 at 1:01 pm

    Di, the site is so worthwhile and enjoyable too.

    It was a nice coincidence that we were driving past Tallara Park last week and I spotted the alpacas. When I explained to you that I was a horse person and animal lover who had a strange fascination with alpacas, I thought you’d think I was crazy! I didn’t realize I was walking into an animal haven or that the purpose of Tallara Park was to promote the kind of understanding and respect for animals that I also share.

    Thanks for the tour, and for your time. We left feeling more connected and at peace.

    I look forward to revisiting this site and maybe even the real animals – what personalities!


  15. Anne Knoetze said on 23/02/2012 at 6:30 am

    My husband and I have emigrated from south Africa and have been in country for only 16 days. We love the outdoor life and my great love is animals. It is hard to look for an area to live in, when you are miles away in another country. But from searching the Internet, we were longing to look in the Kurranjong areas, with the hope of my husband being successful in finding a job in Richmond perhaps . So our travels began a few days ago and I came across “reflections of an animal lovers” book. Although we stopped at the roadside fruit store to buy fruit, I spotted this book and immediately sent an email to Di, hoping to be able to pop in and visit the park, as I was told we were in the right area. I was so excited to see the animals that Di takes care of . I was thinking of buying a franchise that involves animals, and would dearly love to be able to help in anyway with the caring of animals. Our 2 daschounds are in quarantine in south Africa for 6 months, and then a further month here, before they are able to be united with us and we miss them so very much. But there was absolutely NO way we would have left them behind, when we have so much love to offer them.
    We are really looking forward to meeting you Di and I cannot wait to start reading your book.
    I have done an animals communication course as well as being an animal healer, so animals are really my love and life.
    Best wishes to you
    Anne Knoetze

  16. Charmaine Lotriet said on 31/08/2015 at 7:09 am

    Hi Di, and thanks for using your passion for animals to establish this much-needed website.
    I was an animal lover since I can remember…always brought injured animals home and treated them as best I could, then released them. I remember my mum knocking on my bedroom door asking if it’s safe to come in as there were always some bird flying around in the room :)
    I’ve picked up abandoned, injured dogs next to the road, got them treated and found good forever-homes for them. I use to tell my friends “the more I learn and see what people to to each other, the more I love my dog”. Have always felt a very strong connection with animals…and instinctively knew whether they were happy, sad, upset, etc. I have always surrounded myself with animals…..and did some volunteer work at Auckland Zoo when I moved from South Africa to NZ at the time. Really missed the furry creatures so much….had to be close to them again.
    I struggle to comprehend what humans do to animals and have strongly voiced my opinion on websites and social media.
    My Facebook page is 99% devoted to fighting for animal rights, raising funds for anti-poaching measures and treating injured rhinos and elephants and of course raising funds for the left-behind orphans.
    My dream: to eventually find a piece of land and start an animal sanctuary……
    I have a science degree with …yes, zoology as one of my majors and although I don’t formally work with animals, I definitely spend a large portion of my free time making people aware of how important these fellow earth inhabitants is to our well-being….

    Nice to “meet” you and all the like-minded new friends :)

    Take care


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