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Finding The Good: Teaching an old dog, new tricks

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Myley the Lab

ENDWELL (WBNG) -- They say you can't teach an old dog, new tricks. But one local pup is putting that saying to the test, by learning to walk again.

For nearly 13 years, Myley the lab has been a part of the Zimmerman family in Endwell. But recently, the family noticed she wasn't acting like her usual self.

"It started a couple of years ago," explained Jill Zimmerman, "Dragging her back leg, kind of wobbly when she walked, having trouble going up and downstairs, and then it's just progressed."

Myley was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy last year, a disease for dogs that shares several similarities to ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease in humans.

Her owners, Rob and Jill Zimmerman, said she still had some use of her back legs in October. But now, she can't use them at all, making walking on her own impossible.

"Just looking back at videos I have on my phone, she was able to walk around the yard back... but now she has no use of her back legs."

It's a situation that has been very tough on the family.

"It's just hard to see her go through this because it's a progressive disease and eventually it will work its way up her spinal cord and then… she won't have use of her front legs as well."

But even though she couldn't walk, Jill and Rob weren't about to give up on their girl Myley.

"We just recently had her start using a cart, and she's just getting a feel for what that's like and she enjoys getting out for her walk."

A cart that was created by Willow's Wings, a local animal sanctuary specializes in helping disabled animals.

"I used to volunteer at Willow's Wings out in the town of Maine, and she takes in a lot of handicapped dogs, and that's how they got around was in carts."

But that cart can be quite the challenge sometimes.

"Well it's actually a two-man job to get her in, my husband helps me get her in and then we take her around the neighborhood," explained Jill.

So once they get Myley strapped in, off they go. Her tail wagging the whole time.

And while she may not be able to walk or play like she used to, she's the same old Myley at heart.

"We know that eventually, it won't be a good ending. But I think we're very positive," said Jill.

And that positivity and love, has helped Myley learn to walk again. Proving that you can teach an old dog, new tricks.

Scott Sasina

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