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Boy with birth defect gifted puppy that shares his ‘small ear’

Maxson Hess, 8, (right) and his new puppy share the condition microtia, which means their ears...
Maxson Hess, 8, (right) and his new puppy share the condition microtia, which means their ears didn't develop properly. He says it means a lot to have a friend who knows exactly what he deals with on a daily basis.(Source: KVVU via CNN)
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:56 PM AKDT
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LAS VEGAS (Gray News) - An 8-year-old boy born with a rare birth defect affecting one of his ears now has a puppy that shares his condition.

Maxson Hess, 8, was born with microtia, which meant his right ear didn’t form properly and remains small. So, a mini goldendoodle born with the same condition could only have one perfect owner.

The puppy, named Nemo after the movie “Finding Nemo,” was born without an ear flap and with an abnormally small ear canal. Right away, the group at 4E Healing Hearts, a non-profit that connects service animals with their forever home, knew Nemo had a special purpose, KVVU reports.

She became a social media star with many anxiously waiting to see what family she would be gifted to. The non-profit received more than 100 applications to adopt Nemo and eventually decided Maxson and his family would be the perfect fit.

Maxson met his new best friend Friday morning.

“It’s such a surprise,” he said. “So fluffy, too. Really fluffy.”

He says it means a lot to have a friend who knows exactly what he deals with on a daily basis.

The owner and founder of 4E Healing Hearts, Jeanette Forrey, told KTNV it warms her heart to connect pets with their new families.

“He’s a very special boy who now has a puppy that is just as special as he is,” she said. “I think when you have a best friend that is as unique and special as you are, it makes the world a brighter place.”

The Hess family plans to change Nemo’s name, telling KTNV they don’t want her name, or her ear, to define her. The names in consideration are Honey or Daisy.

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc. KVVU via CNN Newsource contributed to this report. All rights reserved.