ASPCA Happy Tail: Old Dog, New Tricks

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 10:45am

When Britney came to the ASPCA through the Humane Law Enforcement department, she was in pain and suffering from multiple untreated conditions.

Fortunately, the veterinary staff at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital was able to nurse Britney back to health, and eventually she became available for adoption; we could finally find a home for this sweet dog who had suffered so much.

We knew it would be a challenge.

Statistically speaking, animals who are black, large or senior, as well as those who take medication or can’t live with other animals, usually spend more time waiting for homes. Britney was all of these things, and to make matters worse, she didn’t engage much with adopters who passed her habitat, preferring to rest quietly.

Still, we knew that the right person would come for Britney, and to speed things along, we spread the word about this special canine. After seeing Britney’s picture and reading about her, Kevin Bechard tells us, “I wanted to snatch her right up.”

A few days later Bechard was going above and beyond to help Britney settle in to her new home in suburban Connecticut.

“The first couple nights I actually slept on the floor with her because she can’t do stairs, and she would just reach out with her paw and make sure it was against me,” he recalls. “Only then she would allow herself to go to sleep. If I moved away a little bit, her eyes would open.”

The love and comfort of a forever home has revived Britney, who has blossomed into a trusting and happy pup: Bechard reports that at his house Britney loves romping outdoors and goes on multiple nature walks a day. 

In return, Bechard has gained a new best friend who, he says, never required house-training or manners instruction, thanks to her age. “I wish more people would consider older dogs,” Bechard says. “I was open to anything, but I was so pleasantly surprised.”

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joanne aube

You're a very lucky man!!! I, too, adopted a lab (yellow lab, 5yrs old at the time, now a happy eight-year-old) who also had to sleep with me, like yours. Jade is the love of my life!!! my constant companion, who spends her days playing ball, tug of war, and taking care of her Mummy! I think people should wake up and smell the coffee! You did! Older dogs are not only trained and housebroken, but they exude sooooo much more love and affection and appreciation: they've come through bad times and have endured to get to us, where they belong! and gratefully, in many ways bestow on us the special love and thankfulness experience has given them. Much love to Brittany, from Jade.

Patty Gambardella

Kevin,this shows that you have a heart of gold and filled with lots of love that you will get back ten fold from Britney. There is no better love than from a dog who shows you every day no matter how they are feeling how very much they love you. Here is wishing you both many, many years of love and treasured memories.


I loved Brittney's story. She deserved that kind of love, and she finally has it. Only if more people could understand how great an old dog is!

Cherrie Hill


Dave and Rita Cross

Kevin, What a wonderful guy you are! You do know that you are blessed for loving and caring for animals, especially Britney! We hope she has several good years ahead of her in your loving care!

Jessica Procopio

I would like to extend a huge 'thank-you' from all dog lovers to Kevin...I truly hope more people will see this and give these fabulous dogs a forever home. I never understood the love and joy that a dog can give a family until we adopted our girl last October; now she is the biggest part of our lives and we couldn't imagine our world without her!! Again, kudos to you Kevin...wishing you guys all the love and happiness possible!!! Great story :)


God bless you Kevin for becoming Britney's champion!!!


I have always adopted older black dogs. They are the sweetest, neatest dogs ever. There is a wonderful book called "Old Dogs Are The Best Dogs" by Gene Weingarten and Michael S. Williamson. It's filled with beautiful photos and stories of older dogs. I tell anyone who has never considered adopting an older dog to seriously consider it. There is no better feeling than giving an older dog who has been through so much a happy safe place to spend their later years and no greater love than what they will give back.


My sweet Siamese, Sugar Plum, is now 18-1/2 yrs. old. I make a special vitamin mix for her every morning. She asked me not to let my husband put her down, and I have promised her she will live out every day that God gives her, as long as I myself am alive.


God bless you both.