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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Mary Lou Hanley

Kevin, that is wonderful! I have no doubt that both you and Britney will feel like just the luckiest person/fur-person for the rest of her fabulous life!


I love older dogs too. I adopted a dog named Sable with medical conditions and takes medication twice a day. She is so loving and always wants to be close to me. I think adopting an older dog is great. She's house trained with great manners and you can truly se they appreciate their new home!

Jennifer A. Malik

My husband and I love "older dogs".....We like to give them a comfy retirement ....;0)


When I saw Britney at the ASPCA when I visited, she was sad and withdrawn. She could barely lift her head (or had no interest in lifting her head) off the blanket. Now here is Britney's new photo and just look at her!!!!! Head held high with pride, outdoors amongst the grass and trees and fresh air that she seems to be relishing. She looks like a brand new doggie - content, loved, flourishing. Kevin, you are a good man and Britney is a great dog. Your story with Britney is inspiring and revelatory and moving.

Andrew W. Matheson

Sun. - Sept 30th, 12, 13:25 Hrs. M.D.T.
Hi Everyone,

These Stories are Touching and so Valueable.
The Carpenters in the Early 70s had a Song -
"Bless the Beasts and the Children".
Its My Views that the "Great One" Will ALWAYS
Bless Those that Give His "Furry Associates"
the "LOVING HOMES" They so Rightfully Deserve
and Those Blessings Go Both Ways to Those That
Love Their Furry Associates and the Blessings
Their Furry Associates Give Back.
My Those Who Adopt Cats or Dogs B Truly Blessed
By the Great One Above.




The first hurdle in adopting older pets is knowing that -- in general -- you'll lose them sooner than younger ones. But when I lost a young DoberBoy (just 2 years old) to a very aggressive bone cancer, I understood that there are really no guarantees. I couldn't delay my grief by choosing a younger dog.
I have a physical disability that prevents me from handling very young dogs with lots of energy. So a more mellow, older adult dog is usually perfect for me.
Cheers to everyone who adopts an older companion animal!


It warms a persons soul to know there is kind gentle people who care.


Way to go in adopting her!!!!!!! You're a good man!!!!! Older dogs/cats are just as good as the younger ones, time may be short but the relationship will be awesome & rewarding for both animal & owner. Love, love this story!!!!!!!! Now I gotta find the hankies!!!!

Marsha Cummings

God bless you, warms my heart every time I hear about kind, loving people such as yourself. Britney is a very lucky little girl, and I know she has blessed your life as well. May God be with both of you forever.

Jamie Ledbetter

I also adopted a beautiful senior Cocker Spaniel who had been severely abused and neglected. My family enjoyed every day we had with him. It was an honor to be able to finally provide a forever home for Joe. I wish you much happiness together. You are a very kind person!