More months pass, and I’m happy to say Ketzl’s still with us.

She’s still in good spirits, but slowing down as the disease continues to take its inevitable toll. Her front is weak enough that our walks require me to hold the wheelchair’s “yoke” to relieve pressure on her front; fortunately she’s not having placement issues. But, walks don’t hold the joy for her they once did: they’re hard, but necessary, work.

Her weekly physical therapy swimming, while still fun, is also pretty tiring for her. When once she did 30-40 laps, now she wants to stop after 10-15. And since exhausting a DM sufferer is a bad idea, we push her a little more, but not a lot. She needs the energy.

Despite the decline, Ketzl’s still playful, bright and alert. Games are different than they were before—we play “get the blanket off your head”, “tear up some newspaper”, “catch the popcorn” and the like—but they’re still games, and she’s clearly still enjoying them.

So we continue to watch Degenerative Myleopathy take our dog, bit by bit: an intractable enemy who will win in the end. I’m thankful she doesn’t know, that dogs are so much in the present, that she can’t see the tears well up in my eyes when I watch her struggle to roll sternal from one side or the other, her trademark Berner grin intact as she faces the challenge and (with occasional help from her adopted pack) succeeds.

Upright again. Ready to fight another day.