Western Leader : January 22nd 2015
YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER Thursday, January 22, 2015 City ready to mark big milestone Recognise this bloke? Probably not – but he’s right at the heart of a very special milestone this weekend. His name is George Eden and Auckland, which is celebrating its 175th birthday on Monday, was named in his honour. Eden was a British poli- Best friends: Selena Ahomiro says Max, who had to be put down in December after being attacked, had a special bond with her son Huia from the day he was born. tician and colonial administrator who served three times as Lord of the Admiralty and was governor-general of India between 1836 and 1842. He was better known as Lord Auckland when he commissioned William Hobson to sail for the East Indies in 1834. Hobson, the first governor of New Zealand, recognised the support by naming the city of Auckland after him in 1840. Lord Auckland died on New Saving grace: Fromleft: Acres Pet Products chief executive officer Shane Hancock, winner Selena Ahomiro, director Dale Gutry, Coco and Huia. Year’s Day in 1849, aged 64. He was unmarried so the earldom ceased to exist and he was succeeded in the barony by his younger brother, Robert. The modern day 10th Baron Auckland is Robert Ian Burnard Eden – a descendant of the English King, William the Conqueror. By SHILO KINO LIFE hasn’t been the same for the Ahomiro family since its beloved dog Max died. Selena Ahomiro, her 6-year-old son Huia and Max’s best friend Coco, were devastated when the 14-year-old boxer-shepherd cross was attacked by another dog last month and later put down. A year’s supply of free dog food won’t bring Max back but it will help ease the burden, Selena says. ‘‘Death is death but it was hor- rible he had to go in that way. Most days I try not to think about it as it can be overwhelming,’’ the 38-yearold says. Acres Pet Products directors Shane Hancock and Dale Gutry asked Western Leader readers last month to nominate neighbours, friends or colleagues to receive a year’s supply of dog food, worth almost $1000. They got about 70 nominations Her story just spoke to all of us, the hardship she has gone through over an extended period of time ❝ Shane Hancock but Hancock says Selena’s story stood out. ‘‘It was a difficult choice to make as there are a lot of deserving people,’’ he says. ‘‘Her story just spoke to all of us, the hardship she has gone through over an extended period of time.’’ Selena’s heartbreak began in 2007. She was left to care for Max and Coco, a huntaway-shepherd cross after a marriage break up. She soon met a new partner and fell pregnant. But less than six months later the father of her unborn child died in a car crash. Selena developed a serious auto- immune condition, severe arthritic pain and lost all her hair. While she was pregnant her beloved father was diagnosed with cancer and in 2011, he died. Getting rid of Max and Coco was never an option for the Te Atatu woman. ‘‘They are my family,’’ she says. ‘‘Just because you decide things are too hard, you don’t give up on family. ‘‘I never considered it. They bring so much joy. ‘‘Max saved me. I was hit by a car about six months before I got him. I was struggling to walk but he forced me to work through the pain. He was always protective of Huia and they’ve had a special bond from day one.’’ Selena has a small part-time income and is on a disability benefit. ‘‘After all the bills we are left with under $100 a fortnight to live on,’’ she says. She estimates she spends about $2000 to $3000 a year on Coco which includes food, pet insurance and the vet bill. ‘‘Coco has the dog equivalent of appendicitis so the vet bill is expensive. The year’s supply of dog food now frees up money. It is a huge help.’’ Acres Pet Products director Dale Gutry says Selena is a deserving winner. ‘‘We didn’t want to just give prod- uct away, we wanted to give it to someone it would help. This is our way of giving back.’’ Selena was nominated by her friend Melissa, who says she is a truly deserving dog owner. ‘‘She sometimes struggles to care for herself but her dogs and her son are always well taken care of.’’ Selena is now on the hunt for a canine companion for 8-year-old Coco. She hopes a new friend will help Coco move on from losing her best buddy Max. Familiar name: George Eden, the first Earl of Auckland. ❚ Happy birthday, Auckland. Find out where the party is happeningon P7.
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