Whether she was lounging on restaurant patios or wagging her tail during walks on Second Street, Buttons the Newfoundland was a familiar furry face in Belmont Shore.

Known for her toothy smile and spotted coat, Buttons was a gentle, 180-pound giant. The black and white dog died last month after a veterinarian diagnosed her with bone cancer. She was 7 years old.

“She was the greatest dog, I know everybody says that about their dog, but she really was,” owner Dennis Anderson, 66, said. “Everyone knew her in the Shore.”

When Buttons got cancer, Anderson said he was amazed at how people in the Shore asked him about the dog’s condition and even wanted to help him with veterinarian bills. In total, Anderson said he collected about $1,400 from friends and strangers to offset the cost of keeping Buttons comfortable until the end of her life.

One contributor to the cause was Belmont Shore Barber Shop manager Laura Hughes, who said many of her clients chipped in when she told them about the dog’s struggles.

“In one weekend we raised $150,” Hughes said. “I did it because Dennis is an icon in our neighborhood, and Buttons is a part of our city and culture. Everybody in the Shore knows them.”

Anderson, a musician and landscaper who has lived in Long Beach for four decades, is a tan guy known for keeping usual pets. Besides Buttons, he once owned another Newfoundland named Puki; additionally, the man often can be seen walking around Belmont Shore with one or more of his parrots perched on his shoulder.

A Hawaiian native, Anderson said he has been a pet lover his entire life. He said his commitment to animals is something he will continue throughout this life, with plans to bring home a Newfoundland puppy this week.

“I just want to thank everyone who reached out to me about Buttons,” Anderson said.

Ashleigh Ruhl can be reached at aruhl@gazettes.com.

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