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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Hi Kevin, I love this story. You are a super human. Thanks for giving Britney a forever home.

Annette Geller

what a sweetheart!! You both lucked out.

Thank you for giving Britney a life filled with love and tendernes Kevin!

michelle S.

Thank you Kevin! dogs absolutely know when they are rescued and loved! It happens all of the time, there are no bad dogs only bad owners

Sherry Smith-Meyers

Kevin, your story makes me cry happy tears...thank you for having such a good heart! I recommend a song for you & Britney - one of my favorite singers, Emmylou Harris, has a foundation called Bonapart's Retreat dedicated to adopting older big dogs. She has a song on her last album about her dog Bella "Big Black Dog" - you should take a listen, I think you'll get a kick out of it. We love big dogs. After our precious Callie Rose, our 90 pound shepherd mix rescue, died at age 13 from cancer, we were heartbroken as you can imagine...we went to our local shelter & found our awesome siberian husky mix, not too old at age 4, but a big girl & of course she is now the love of our life. She actually was dumped at the shelter the day Callie Rose died & had been there 10 days...we believe Callie knew we were so devastated & missing her & that she sent Tabby (I know, our dog w/a cat name) to us to take care of us. Anyway, many, many blessings to you, Britney & all of your loved ones!

Dennie Anderson

Hi, good for you & Britney--you are a hero. We adopted a 13 year old Chow from the Humane Society in August. His owner had no choice but to give him up. All but one of our many dogs have come from shelters. Bear-it is so wonderfully special & the current love of my life. I am so glad we found him. We support an organization in Washington called "Old Dog Haven". They rescue only older dogs from the entire western portion of Washington. Yeah for all rescuers!!!


I'm so happy to hear about Britney's adoption. I love black, large older dogs and have adopted two. They are the best! Both Cody and Olivia are the sweetest, most loving dogs imaginable. I wish more people would realize that these dogs deserve loving homes, especially those who have never known kindness or love. They are not only forgiving but wise and deeply empathetic. Yay for older/old dogs. I'll take one any day!

Lynne Jones

Keven, God Bless You. I love stories of older dogs being saved. They are more vulnerable to not finding a home. May you have many years together with good health for Britney.


LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! The world needs more people like this and everyone commenting!


Kevin, Britney's picture brought tears to my eyes;she looks so much like my Coco girl. She was 15 when we lost her a year ago. When I adopt again it will be an older dog, they deserve to be loved and taken care of in their later years and they have so much love to offer. Thank you for being such a kind hearted person. We need more people like you in this world.