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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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Kevin- I adopted a senior dog with multiple issues months ago that looked just like her. He just passed away two nights ago. Although I'm heartbroken, I am grateful that our paths crossed. Instead of dying on a concrete floor waiting for a home, he passed in my arms after licking my hand. He also needed meds twice daily, had multiple illnesses, and had been found in March on the side of the road in shock after being hit hy a car. I am a vet tech and was doing my internship at the clinic the police rushed him to. His family never claimed him after three months of hospitalization. He was aggressive with staff...except he wasn't with me. I laid on the floor with him comforting him the day he was hit. When he recovered, he remembered my voice. I ended up adopting him after his three months in the hospital and took him for a month long vacation at a cabin in the woods on a lake. I learned that he had no experience inside a home or car...a senior dog. That made me so sad, and more determined than ever to spoil him and give him a warm, loving home for his final chapter. I got him a memory foam bed and he was in heaven. That dog gave me a lifetime of love and loyalty in just months. Even though losing him was sad...I think of how he died peacefully with someone telling him he was loved and a good boy. When I first met him he was about to die in pain and was terrified and alone. Knowing that I could give him that gift made the heartache worth it. I encourage more people to adopt senior dogs. Like you, Kevin, I found that he learned housetraining and rules overnight. He may have appeared to be ferocious to everyone, but I learned that he was just a scared boy that really was a sweet, sweet boy. I hope you get a lot of time with your new best friend, and you have given her a happy last chapter in her life.




Thanks for opening up your heart and home to this beautiful senior gal. We adopted a 13 year old lab a few years. We only had the privilege of his company for about a year and a half but he was a happy dog during that time and we were happy as well. I too wish more people would realize how great the seniors are.


Congratulations Kevin and Britney on finding each other! My dog Tuti is 14 years old. Older dogs have so much to give. It's wonderful to know Britney will live out her remaining time in a loving home! Big hugs to you both :)


It's great to hear about the good stuff once in awhile and this one brought happy tears to my eyes. I'm so happy Beautiful Britney found her best friend in Kind-hearted Kevin. You two are perfect for each other. Thanks to the ASPCA for all they do as well.

Dawn Corby

I was so touched by the story of Britney. As a dog trainer for more than 17 years, I often suggest to people considering adoption to seek out older dogs. They are usually already trained and settle into their new lives with grace and gratitude. You might not always have them for as long as you hoped for, but it's always worth the love you'll share, because that will live forever.


This made me tear up, as I myself just rescued two dogs that were left at a shelter. They are the loves of my life and I see how a Happy Home has healed their hearts and they are now complete. Nothing is better in Life then the feeling of saving another from loneliness and pain. Kudos to Kevin! All the best with your Sweet Britney- she's adorable!


I just want to give a big hug and a kiss to Kevin for adopting Britney. Kevin has a very kind heart. When I was reading the story of Britney, tears were steaming down my face, but thanks to Kevin, Britney now has someone to love her.


I have no hesitations about adopting an elderly dog, except the heartbreak of knowing they will not be with me as long as a younger one.


Kevin, Britney will give you more love than you will ever know. God bless you, Kevin, for giving Britney her forever home and loving her like she should have been loved all along. May you two have many years together!