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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I love older dogs. My last two dogs came to live with me when they were 5 and then 9 years old. They are the most wonderful pets who are housebroken and trained. Puppies are adorable but a lot of work. With an older dog, there is maybe a 4-8 week transition period and then your golden. I will always get an older dog. They are the best.


this was a blessing to read, I am glad there are people willing to do whatever it takes, my husband and I have adopted many, and I mean many unwanted cats, and a boston terrier, some have ailments, but all are loving and dedicated. GOOD JOB


Right on Kevin!! I love dogs and it is always a wonderful
blessing when someone comes along to offer them a new home. May the two of you be very happy! :-)


Let me start off by saying I don't hate puppies but do hate the puppy stage they go through. I much rather have an adult dog they are calmer and much better behaved and they are always over looked it makes no sense to me.

Lori Grone

Great story! It's wonderful to hear of people like Kevin that welcome an older dog into their home. Senior pets like Britney have so much to offer.


Hi Kevin, I am so happy for you to find such a great girl, she will fill you days with joy as you will give her all the love you can to make her life enjoy. God bless you for being you. Take care, plus enjoy each other because there is nothing better than to come home to a friendly wag and lick from you best friend in life.


I almost didn't read this; I can't take all the sad stories out there. But the promise of a happy ending caused me to read this. When my current pets pass on, I plan to do exactly what you did. I will go to a shelter and ask for the dogs & cats that are passed over. I know I will never regret it.


On handing man's best friend a life saver. Maybe one day she will save you right back! Best, Erika

paul gagliano


When I read of the horrors done to animals I begin to think there are no people left on the planet with a heart. Thank you and I must say all of us who love animals wish you all the best !

Thank You so much !!

Regards, Paul

Angie Rhinier

I also adopted an 11-year-old dog and gave him the best last 2 1/2 years possible. You are a wonderful man! <3