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‘Bomber’ will be missed

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

Taratahi students lost a best friend last week when Bomber, the 10-year-old campus dog died of a heart attack.

The black Labrador mixed with “a bit of something else” was an integral cog in campus activities and “a well-known curer of homesickness”.

Owned by campus manager Judy Dreardon, Bomber was a “true gentleman” Taratahi students, current and former say.

He had been a part of the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre for about four years and is estimated to have interacted with a mix of more than 1000 students and staff in that time.

Former equine student Brooke Hannah said the playful dog “made Taratahi what it was”.

“He was honestly like everyone’s best friend,” she said.

“For me especially, I got really homesick when I was there — I had really bad days with chronic depression and out-of-control anxiety, and I was ready to go home — what changed that was Bomber.

“Whenever you needed someone, he’d be there with a goofy grin on his face, tail wagging, being his typical loving self.”

She said he had his favourites around campus, and “kind of chose people who needed him”.

She recalled how Bomber would start “snorting like a pig when you rubbed his tummy”, and would “whimper when no one was paying him attention”.

“I think I speak for everyone when I say, that we are going to miss [him] so, so much.”

Manpreet Singh, also a former student of the training centre said Bomber was “more like a person” than a dog.

“Judy and Bomber were the first people I met at Taratahi,” he said.

“He was such a nice dog.

“He was more of a family dog for Taratahi — always in the dining hall, playing with other students.”

Bomber is to be buried on site at Taratahi this week.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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