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Buddy’s home: Man’s search for a new owner for Costa Mesa dog ends with Newport Beach family

Buddy’s home: Man’s search for a new owner for Costa Mesa dog ends with Newport Beach family
Portland Nelson, 11, and her brother, Sage, 13, with Buddy in their Newport Beach home. (Courtesy of Shannon Nelson)

Buddy, the Costa Mesa dog who was in need of a new family after the death of his owner, has found a new home.

Shannon Nelson of Newport Beach was sitting with her daughter, Portland, when she read the Daily Pilot’s story of Buddy, a 14-year-old blind dog whose temporary caretaker was searching for a permanent home for him.

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Nelson and Portland were immediately drawn to the pooch, Nelson said.

“Our hearts were breaking for Buddy and felt like we were used to having senior animals and could give him the love he needs in his senior years,” she said.

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Nelson, 54, a single mother of two, is no stranger to seeing pets advance through their later stages of life.

The family had to put down their 15-year-old cat, Kitty, about a month ago. Kitty was the second cat they had to euthanize because of age-related conditions in the span of a few months, Nelson said.

Before she had children, cats were her kids, said Nelson, who works in the field of in vitro fertilization and decided to have children on her own when she was in her 40s. Portland, 11, and her brother, Sage, 13, have been around older pets all their lives, Nelson said.

That made the Nelsons well-equipped to care for Buddy, down to the pet-size stroller they had for taking the cats outdoors in their later years. It fits Buddy, a small dog who Nelson suspects is a terrier-poodle mix, and she imagines they’ll be able to use it with him someday.

Portland, who is interested in becoming a doctor or veterinarian, began offering dog-care services last summer. She even made laminated cards describing her work, such as walking dogs and giving them baths, Nelson said.

Paul Hoffman, 57, of Costa Mesa took Buddy in after the suicide of his friend. He searched for a home for Buddy for a couple of weeks, saying he couldn’t afford to care for him along with his own dog. He did the search on his own because “I don’t want to put him in a kennel situation,” he said, noting that Buddy had already been in an animal shelter and other short-term care.

After the Nelsons took Buddy in Dec. 5, Hoffman was relieved to have found a home that suits Buddy’s needs.

When the family went to Hoffman’s home for an interview, Sage and Portland sat on an ottoman and Buddy hopped up to sit between them, immediately resting his head in Sage’s lap, Nelson said.

“They seem great,” said Hoffman, who added that he’s looking forward to visiting Buddy in his new place.

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