As I mentioned several weeks ago, Cali is taking magic mushrooms (not that kind!) to boost her immune system and slow tumor growth. Between the mushrooms and the chemo, Cali is still — as far as we know — free of large tumors.
She also has a lot of energy, which she wants to expend — incessantly — by playing with her flying disc. What she wants, specifically, is for me to toss it so that she can leap acrobatically — yes, stocky, elderly Cali — into the air and execute heroic catches. She’s quite good at this, and it is very entertaining to watch. You’ll have to take my word for this since I have no photos (because I am of course tossing the disc…).
So, the first, and more minor, ethical question is whether I should “allow” and enable Cali to do something where she might get hurt.
She plays the cancer card a lot, and uses her large, soft, brown eyes to convince me to let her do whatever she wants … and I think that’s mostly OK. She’s happy and playful, and I want her to stay that way for as long as possible. And if playing with her disc keeps her happy, well, I’m going to keep tossing it gently, not too high, and letting her leap to catch it.
Then there’s Orly. I am giving Orly a smaller dose of the mushroom blend. (I’m using it too…) I don’t know whether the immune boosting claims are real, but I do think that the blend boosts energy. Orly’s and mine, though there is nothing in the world that could enable me to match Orly’s energy level.
And that’s the issue.
Orly is a healthy adolescent golden retriever. The last thing she needs is more energy. I cannot keep up with her on a good day (no mushrooms, a long hike with her dog buddies), much less on a mushroom day when she does not go hiking.
Would it be ethical to deny her the potentially significant (but unmeasurable) health benefits of the mushrooms … so I could get some rest?
I’m pondering that, as I sit for a moment, catching my breath.
Meanwhile, I am recruiting all of the young dogs within shouting distance — there are several — as playmates for Orly. On hike days, on non-hike days, at the same time, one after another — it doesn’t matter. Anything that will tire her out. Wait; that’s impossible.
I’ll settle for anything that will burn off a tiny fraction of her boundless energy!