ASPCA Happy Tails: Bernie & Blanco’s Blissful Life

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 2:15pm
Two white dogs sitting on man's lap

Meet Bernie and Blanco. Bernie is a 7 year-old Mini Poodle and Blanco is an 11-year-old Bichon Frisé. These two pups came to the ASPCA at separate times, but both had a similar host of medical problems ranging from cataracts to Cushing’s Disease. We knew it would be tough to find them a home, so imagine our joy when they both ended up in the same home. Thanks to some very big-hearted adopters named Julia and Pat, these senior sweeties are both living happy lives with a perfect family. Here is their story.

“Before adopting Blanco,” Julia tells us, “we already had a very full house.” With two kids and an 18- year-old Bichon Frisé, the last thing Julia and Pat were thinking about was another animal. But their daughter Ashley spotted Blanco, also a Bichon, at the ASPCA and approached her parents about adopting. At 11 years old, Blanco was suffering from Cushing’s Disease, cataracts, and a benign tumor. When Pat learned that Blanco had been adopted and returned multiple times, he convinced his wife that the adoption was meant to be.

Julia admits that “Blanco’s transition was difficult.” In addition, the Cushing’s Disease requires regular, daily medication. Despite all this, Blanco settled into the family and turned out to be a very fun, happy pup.  Julia raves, “He dances on his hind legs, wags his tail to holiday music, and likes our daughter-in-law to speak to him in Spanish!” Seeing Blanco gave the family the confidence to return to the ASPCA and adopt Bernie, the Mini Poodle, who was also diagnosed with Cushing’s.

“Bernie fit right in immediately,” says Julia. The well-trained pup sits and stays on command, enjoys long walks, and loves to snuggle into a warm lap. Together, the two dogs live a very charmed life.

Caring for a dog with a chronic disease can be heartbreaking work, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding way to save a life. Julia says, “I had never heard of Cushing’s Disease before Blanco and Bernie. I hope you can let people know that it’s manageable. We are so happy it didn’t stop us from adopting these sweet pups.”

We suspect that Bernie and Blanco feel the same way. 

White dog wearing yellow jacket

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Julia and Pat, you are angels sent from heaven. You and your wonderful, sweet, adorable pups, Bernie and Blanco, have warmed my heart on this very cold winter day. You have enlightened me, taught me something profound and beautiful. You have changed the way I think. I wish you and your darling Bernie and Blanco all the love and joy in the world.


Thanks for your kind thoughts Emma.We have a quiet house this morning-
Blanco and Bernie are stretched out on the


Thanks for your kind thoughts Emma. We have a quiet house this morning. Blanco and Bernie are stretched out on the sofa napping.

Eva Weiss

This makes me so happy. I am crying for joy after seeing them on the list so many times. I wanted to take one of them, but I already have four rescue small dogs. One is a Maltese with Kushings who sounds just like Blanco. He is blind in one and almost in the other and needs medications and special diets from liver problems. You are indeed angels. Now Dream needs to go home too!


Eva, Your dogs are so lucky to have found an owner with such a big heart! I agree Dream needs a forever home ASAP.


I rescued my LuLa, a Chihuahua with Hydroencephelytis (water on the brain). All the vets I took her to would say is that she would not live very long. With a lot of patience and TLC, she just passed her sixth birthday. She enjoys all the perks of treats and car rides and baths and even scaring the cat that her companion mini poodle loves. She sure gets excited when I come in the door and runs up to greet me every time. She was a life well worth saving.


Our hats are off to you for being such a strong advocate for Lulu.Your pets have a wonderful owner!

Susan G.

I have worked in a local Humane Society and it's wonderful. I know from experience that people do not always want to adopt an older dog because of their medical issues and shorter life span. So I think it's SO important to consider a senior dog into your family. They are so grateful for a loving home and a chance to give their love to you. A lot of the senior dogs have come from loving families where they can no longer be cared for because their owners have passed away or are too elderly to care for them anymore . So really consider the senior dog and make the rest of their lives as happy as can be. They deserve it. Also remember that many of these seniors come well trained. Thank you Julie and Pat for adopting Bernie and Blanco. They are two lucky, lucky dogs and so are you!!! And as always thank you to the ASPCA. You are very special, loving people to do what you do!


We highly recommend adopting a senior dog. These two have brought us such joy.Thanks to you for your work at the Humane Society.


wonderful story Thank U Pat and Julia:)