- Despite the happy reunion with Albert, Joey is still ill. His condition deteriorates and even Albert's touch makes him jumpy.
- The diagnosis: tetanus. Recommended treatment: euthanasia. We knew it. All animal stories end with the animal dying. Just because we were ready for this doesn't mean we're happy about it.
- Albert refuses to put Joey down, and David backs him up, reminding Sergeant Thunder that he had told them "a horse's life is maybe even more important than a man's" (18.14).
- All the vets team up to keep 24-hour watch over Joey until he gets better.
- After weeks in a sling, Joey recovers enough to whinny to Albert, letting him know he feels better. OMG, he didn't die.
- Joey gets to go for a walk with Albert to regain his strength. After, Albert and Joey daydream about the end of the war and going back home.