Vale Cocoa


Cocoa, around the time she first came to A Place of Peace

The little bay wild pony mare we called Cocoa was curious about her situation. She couldn’t stand up. After eight years of enjoying freedom, hay and soft mashes, while avoiding a human’s touch, she now found it to be heaven. She leaned into the oil massages, the shiatsu, the T-touch, and loved the homeopathics with apple juice, the warm mashes, the herbs, and being stroked and loved. She didn’t even get frightened when a rug was put over her at night. She told me it was surprising to her, how good being loved like this really felt. And even though she was free, it healed her mistrust of humanity. It healed her grief at the loss of her daughter.

Her daughter in spirit was hanging around. I knew in my heart, that Cocoa wouldn’t stand up again. And despite her perkiness, she wouldn’t be with us long.  She had been finding the August part of winter hard in recent years. We always fed her soft mashes until the sweet grass came.

We slept with her out on top of the little hill that was to become her final resting place. While her family sometimes visited, we were her protectors, taking it in turns around the clock, to make sure she was safe. She knew we were there.

I was teaching that weekend in town, and  my senior students and I would do healing on her at every spare opportunity, and send Divine Love energy. But when I got back home, I knew my Cocoa was no longer there. I stroked her face and gave her water to drink. I knew this would be her last night with us. Thank you for waiting for me little one. It was an honour to serve you.

I took a hot water bottle and a blanket and lay down on the grass beside her. Above us stretched the vast universe of stars and dark sky. She reached for the Lavender and Peace and Calming essential oils, as I softly sang her spirit free to the Summerlands, my hands resting lightly on her cheek. Spirit, her herd leader, came quietly up to say goodbye. He looked at her gently before he turned away. “Farewell, Grandmother”, was the essence of his exchange. I’ll never forget that moment, of being one with the herd.

Her body rested peacefully, going through the stages of leaving, while her spirit flew free with me, following me in the dark across the paddock to our home. She was curious about life and humans and she was young and vital and free. Andrew did the graveyard shift, guarding her body while it shut down. He came in the early hours of the morning, with the words that she had gone.

She was buried where she lay, after a short ceremony. Her spirit still hung there in the wind, curious, not quite ready to leave. But she would, I knew. She had a powerful message for us all – “Trust in the process of life, and know there are angels all around.”

We can all be angels. Human angels for the animals we love.

. . . . . .

If you liked this article and would like to give an exchange of energy, please consider making a heart gift. Heart gifts help make the new world go around, and the animals we support  all thank you!

Billie Dean can be found at and Copyright © Billie Dean, 2013. You are welcome to share this article but only in its complete form with author and website attached. Thank you!

Photo credit: Billie Dean

News from A Place of Peace – January 2012

January 22, 2012

Brumby mare and foal, January 2012

Brumby mare and foal, January 2012, in our house paddock.

It’s late here at A Place of Peace, the rain falls gently, and when we step outside, we’re greeted by the gentle knicker of a wild mother mare who recognises us as “The Ones Who Bring Food”.   It’s time for their last meal of the day, and the garden has been turned into a nursery for three mother mares and their little filly foals.  The house yard is quite large, and they go under the pine trees and the Hawthorn Tree, the little ones racing around with their tiny tails stuck high in the air.   They are so beautiful, and growing up in complete security, knowing that if they can’t find mum, aunty is close by.  The mares are great mums, and very proud of their babies.  I shudder when I think these foals may never have been born, and their terrified mothers, killed horrifically in slaughter houses which should be shut down forever.

During the day the wild horses graze peacefully in three herds.  Merlin the stallion has his herd which includes the baby colts Emrys and Arthur.   Three grown up colts have their own herd and the girls with baby girls are in by the house.  They are all close by and have the security of seeing each other across the fence.


Zeeka, who passed away in January 2012.

Sadly, we said goodbye to our beloved alpaca Zeeka recently, who pined after his mate Benji who passed last year in October. It is the end of an era here, with no alpacas standing guard over with the goat herd and Sarah the sheep – and to be honest I’m still not quite used to it.

As we were burying Zeeka, I heard the familiar sound of a wild goat mum who had lost her kids. Tamsin and I took the dogs, rushed over and found, thanks to the dogs, two babies left behind. My dogs are untrained kelpies, and yet they know when there is work to do. I asked them to “find” and “hold” and they did – gently, calmly, explaining to the kid that they were friends with thoughts and demeanour, so that I could pick up the baby and take them home.

If we don’t take them home, they are unlikely to survive the night.  We’ve been asked why the mothers leave them and it is for many reasons – sometimes they know the baby isn’t right.  Sometimes the babies fall asleep when the herd walks off.   Sometimes they want us to take care of them.  During the drought the word I heard from one mother as we collected her son, was “hay”. She knew her son would have a good life with us.  She knew he would have food.

Goat Babies, January 2012

Goat Babies, January 2012

Like all goats we’ve hand -raised, we introduce them to the other goats and help them get over their shock with lots of cuddles and rescue remedy.  They all are brought up in the house first. Tamsin is the goat lady and the goats adore her.  This brother and sister are living in the kitchen currently, getting to know everyone and life in the human world (that’s them in the picture sitting on hay).

The brumbies have been interesting. I was shocked to find hoofprints down by the creek, and even across the creek. It started when we gave them  a paddock hay that was not to their taste. It was too much like dried grass. We bought 200 bales of it, after being donated some other lovely meadow hay, which the horses actually like, from one of my lovely students.

Merlin jumped the fence and wandered around the creek, telling me in no uncertain terms that if we couldn’t provide “decent” food, he would have to take his herd to find it himself. And I don’t blame him. The grass is drying and across the creek are lush paddocks full of good stuff, but thanks to the damage from a flash flood we had, there’s currently no water over there. I explained to him that we were working on getting the pipe  fixed and if he could be patient, we would move the herd to greener pastures.

He jumped back into the paddock and I mixed lucerne into the less tasty hay.

Every morning there are 10 brumbies in the paddock, waiting for breakfast, looking innocent.

The brumbies have broken a few fences, showing me they don’t have to stay here at all if they don’t want to. When the shearer came, the nursery herd were so frightened that even the babies leapt the fence, joined the big herd, and they all took off. I had to run after them, calming them down, calling them in, and promising them that no one was going to be killed. Apparently one of the shearers sent a predatory thought to them. It might have been a passing one – but they heard it and shared it with me.

The horses are on extra alert when strangers come.  Their eyes go from soft and curious to wary and guarded.  We might be considered part of the herd but other people are either alarming or to be tolerated.  It’s all about relationship, building trust, and keeping promises.

Speaking of horses we are delighted in the now cemented friendship of Samantha the Shetland and Totem the Goat.  Totem was our first baby we ever adopted from the wild goats, and he would travel in the car with the dogs on outings, as did Sarah the sheep when she arrived.  Totem and Samantha are very bonded and sleep in a stable together at night.  During a recent flash flood, we brought the ponies and Totem up to the high ground of the house.  Totem refused to shelter on the verandah ( and goats don’t really like rain).  Instead, he stood outside the office window with Sam in the pouring rain.

That was another exciting night that had been foretold by a kookaburra, so we were partially prepared.  There was lightning dancing all over the sky, and it was pouring inside and out.  Once all the horses had been moved to high ground ( and I was grateful I’d got in extra torches) , I began to experience a moment of concern for our ancient house.   But then I remembered, two little bush rats had run into the house in plain sight, through the front door!  I knew then the house was safe.  And I silently thanked them.

. . . . . .

Billie Dean is an internationally recognised interspecies telepath, animal and peace advocate and award-winning creative artist.  She  is the author of Secret Animal Business, and  an independent filmmaker of inspiring and heart-warming films about animals and peace.  Billie runs a transformational on-line school Rainbow Fianna, teaching animal communication with ethics and an eclectic blend of native  and visionary wisdom to help people evolve into the human angels animals need them to be. With her husband and daughter, Billie runs A Place of Peace at her home, where over 40 rescued horses run free, and is the founder of The Billie Dean International Deep Peace Organisation, a not-for-profit organsiation to promote peace and freedom for all animals through the arts, education and compassionate action. 

Copyright ©  Billie Dean, 2012.  You are welcome to share  this article but only in its complete form with author, author blurb, and website attached.  Thank you!

Photo credits: Billie Dean and Andrew Einspruch


Kossie Brumbies Arrive at Ballyoncree

July 15, 2011

Kossie Brumby Mares on arrival at Ballyoncree

Kossie Brumby Mares on arrival at Ballyoncree

Suddenly, late last Wednesday night, we got the call from NSW Parks and Wildlife that our brumbies had walked into the traps. 15 of them, including three pregnant mares. They wanted to deliver them on Saturday, and I had to leave on Sunday with Tamsin for her writing course in Sydney. It felt like really bad timing. High winds had blown trees down across fences, the yards needed re securing and we had no meadow hay – yet.

I couldn’t sense the stallion I had been communing with down in North Kossi, and my sense of the herd that was trapped was that they were waiting for my decision. They had gone inward.   It was very curious. They didn’t feel like the family who had asked to come to me. And that put me in a huge dilemma. If they weren’t mine, then what about the promise I made to the stallion who had contacted me? If I took these horses, I wouldn’t be able to support the ones who had contacted me as well. And as a shaman, it is vital to me that I keep my promises.

It turned out they just didn’t want to pressure me. Or maybe it was another shamanic initiation of the animal kind. I nearly waited for the next lot. But I didn’t because on one level I knew these were the ones I was supposed to take. One of the ways I can tell is because I cry when I have made the wrong decision.  Or when something is wrong.  Or when there is impending death.   That is my heart intelligence speaking. I cried and so I quickly said “yes” to the horses, and we hired some help to get the place ready on Friday.  Kim Hollingsworth, who had been liaising with Parks and Wildlife for the rehoming of these brumbies, turned up with grass hay an hour before the horses arrived , and all deadlines were met.

In animal rescue, like many other areas of life, it usually happens that it isn’t the best timing, but you jump and step up, because you have to.  Some of this family would have ended up dead if I hadn’t jumped and as soon as I found that out – no question. They all breathed a collective sigh of relief and I felt I had passed some kind of test. Phew.

Learning to listen to your heart intelligence is something everyone needs to do now. If you are called in any way to help any animal, that is your heart intelligence. So don’t listen to your head or anyone else around you. Listen to your heart and enjoy a meaningful relationship with an Other, that will enrich your world beyond compare. Or perhaps, like my call to help the Jeparit ponies, it will lead to a new direction in your life.

And so the truck full of horses arrived.

The stallion, a beautiful intelligent big blue boy, came out of the truck first, backwards. Our ancient wooden ramp collapsed under his weight. And he didn’t bat an eyelid. He knew he was coming here. He wandered calmly unhurt around the yard while Andrew and I held a positive space to counter the concerned talk of them “breaking their legs” as they came out of the truck directly into the yards.   The stallion nickered, and out the others all came – one colt and lots of mares and foals – 13 of them.  One after the other.  All safe. They got out of the truck as if they were born to it. It was an incredible moment.

And so it was with relief and great happiness we celebrated their arrival in their new forever home. There was 14, not 15. And I found myself mourning the phantom horse, as we had mentally and emotionally stretched to take 15, instead of a family herd of about seven, which is what I had been expecting.

The stallion came to me in my dreamtime and told me his name was Merlin. He knows where he is and I am sure we will have a good journey together. He is gorgeous.

All of the horses are settling in quickly. They are so incredibly gentle and sweet. They told me they were used to silence and we were very noisy. They are now used to the dogs. They are so relaxed that they lie down. They are gorgeous and intelligent and we are so in love with them and I am grateful that 14 (probably 17 with foals) are safe from any kind of human abuse and cruelty and will run safe and free at Ballyoncree.

I would like to publicly applaud Parks and Wildlife and also Kim Hollingsworth for their work in rehoming the brumbies , instead of culling them.  This is the sort of world we want.  One of compassion and kindness to all species.

So for me it has been a bittersweet two weeks. The safe arrival of horses to a safe house, and the horrible murder of others who were not safe. The world will become a better place for animals, when we take the compassionate action needed to make it so.  And keep focusing on the dream we want, as if it is already.

The world is now a place of Deep Peace for ALL Species. It is so.

 . . . . . .

Text and Photos © Billie Dean, 2011   (Permission to reuse photo applies.  Contact the photographer on

We're working out the details of the new store, and are getting the items in place. If something looks wonky, or you can't find something, send an email to, and we'll look into it. Cheers, Andrew Dismiss