Friday, April 19, 2024 -
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Live long and prosper?

Live long and prosper? — going to the dogs in the process.

Does the thought of a super long life thrill or chill you? Once upon a time, the idea of living to be 100 was extraordinary. Now, while hardly commonplace, it’s certainly more common and the ranks of hardy centenarians will only continue to grow as healthcare advances continue.

According to a 2022 UN estimate, there were almost 600,00 centenarians worldwide and by 2050 that number will jump to 3.7 million.

As for me, I’m of two minds about living to such a ripe old age.

On a good day, it thrills me. The prospect of more adventures, more time with family, more time to read . . . These are appealing notions.

But on a day, when my knees and back ache. I dunno . . . and I haven’t even hit the 70-year mark yet!

The question of longevity came into sharp focus recently when my husband and I sat down with our financial advisor for a belated estate planning session.

It began with the question of how long we should project our life span. My husband said 90 years. Thinking of the recently departed diplomat Henry Kissinger and actress Glynis Johns, who both made it to the century mark, I said 100.

We “split” the difference and landed on 95. It sounded wild. Ridiculous. Yet, who knows?

I started to say something about, “Well, of course, that’s the best-case scenario . . .” but the financial planner interrupted before I could finish the thought.

“Actually, from a monetary standpoint, a shorter lifespan is the better-case scenario. It gives you more money to spend and leaves more money for your heirs.”

Well, huh! So much for Star Trek’s Mr. Spock’s “Live long and prosper.” Apparently from an economic perspective, we all should live short to prosper!

Yet, even as I ponder our best fiscal finale, I found a new wrinkle — pardon the pun — to consider on the question of longevity. Not for me and my husband, but for our pet hound!

You see, I just read of a new wonder drug to extend the lifespan of man’s best friend. That’s right, Bowser may soon have a designer drug to chase away the Grim Reaper — at least for a while.

The drug is still in development. Even the name is hush-hush. The manufacturer declines to reveal it “for proprietary reasons.” However, the medication has received fast-tracked authorization for animal drugs that fulfill unmet health needs and require difficult clinical trials.

The final approval process could come in two (human) years which would enable the company, aptly named Loyal, to market the canine life-extender even before a large clinical trial is complete. Bow wow WOW!

“We’re going to be going for claiming at least one year of healthy life span extension,” Celine Halioua, Loyal’s founder and chief executive, told The New York Times.

All this leads me to ask, “If it’s good for dogs, is it good for me? Because if it’s safe and works, you can bet your last Milk Bone that a bootleg market for humans will soon follow!”

So, watch out, centenarians of today. Mazel tov on your long lives, but with the aid of a little canine helper, I may outlive you all. I may even outlive that old-age superstar Methuselah, who, according to Genesis, lived to be 969!

Still, I wonder — and worry. Will the warning label on my fantasy bootleg supply of canine life-extender meds read the following?

Beware: Possible side effects include whiskers, barking, scratching and a sudden, irresistible urge to chase cars. Also, fleas.

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Read more of Karen Galatz’s work at https://muddling. me or contact her at [email protected].

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