I watch him as he quivers, his body shaken frequently yet not terribly.
Small, fast movements easily mistaken for the shivers of someone briefly struck with a sense of cold, with chills.
But over time even the doctors agree they represent something else, something akin to the tremors suffered by a Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s patient.
And tremors they are.
Whether he be lying down for a nap, sitting patiently waiting for treats or standing nearby watching to see where I might be going, I see the shudders as clearly as I might see the sun climb above the horizon.
Tremors the doctor called them, signs of possible neurological damage from a lifetime of systemic steroid use.
So we wait and we watch and we hope things do not worsen.
I nevertheless believe his twelve years of life come next February could well mark a turning point for him, a signpost lighted as evidence of things to come, of a life winding down like an old clock, of a sponge from whom no more can be wrung.
Wait and watch…
Another sickly chap maintains a lesser weight than he once carried, a panther reduced in size but not spirit.
His immune system dysfunction does regularly battle with his quest for happiness. A lonesome fatigue results.
Scarcely more than ten years old in human terms, already he demonstrates a slowing skill for causing trouble. Only slightly though.
When at night he curls up with me under the sheets and rests his head upon my arm, his head tickling my face with hair, I forget easily the vulnerability he suffers, the near-fatal episode he recently survived as his body did war against itself.
No greater love can be found in any juvenile-minded life than exists in this dear soul, this marvelous baby whose fevers do little to diminish his spirit.
Upon how many fields must we stand and fight before this ghoulish villain leaves him to enjoy his days? Or can such a thing even be accomplished?
Wait and watch…