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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Three Special Friends

Sep 30, 2021 10:48AM ● By Jared Zornitzer

Companionship is one of our utmost necessities. Food, water and shelter preserve life but connecting and interacting with others has allowed us to evolve and lead fulfilling lives. Trust, loyalty, constancy and sympathy are all traits that we look for when seeking out a friend. I never thought that I would find all of this and much more in my three dogs.

Initially, I did not want a dog. My parents always stressed that taking care of a dog is a lot of work, so I adopted this opinion too. I did not see the purpose in having a dog; I did not realize that a dog is much more than a pet. It was my younger sister’s big heart and desire to have a puppy that finally convinced my family to get one.

Steel, our first and oldest dog, truly changed my world. I remember coming home from school and immediately he would run to his toys and pick up a ball for me to play fetch with him. His playful nature brightened my days and always made me smile. I made it routine to take him on long walks and sit in the backyard with him because we both loved being outdoors.

Three years later we got Coda and Monte, brothers from the same litter. Suddenly I was in favor of getting another dog so that Steel would have a companion during the day when we were all at school and work. These two have brought so much joy and laughter to our household. They wrestle with each other all over the house and, unlike Steel, they show their love through big, wet kisses.

As their collective “master,” they are completely dependent on us to feed them, walk them and take care of them. In return, they are the most loyal and understanding friends that I have ever had. At the end of the day, you are the only person that they want to be with—to go on a walk, to play or to relax on the couch—because they do not have anywhere else to be nor would they want to be anywhere else. They have an innate sense of my feelings. While saying goodbye to them the day that I left for college, I broke down and cried because I knew that I was going to miss them so much. In response, with no instruction, they all came up to me, wagging their tails and nudged into my side as dogs do when they are giving you a hug.

The most important lesson which they have taught me is that you have lots of love to give. When we got Steel, then Coda and Monte, my heart expanded each time because I naturally came to love them all equally. They teach me every day how to live in the moment. They have no worries about the past or future; they find enjoyment in the present. This is an ideal vision of how I would like to live my life too.

In my family we started referring to the three of them as “the boys.” They are not just dogs. They have much wisdom to pass on to us. Bailey says it best in the movie A Dog’s Purpose: “Have fun, obviously. Whenever possible, find someone to save, and save them. Lick the ones you love. Don’t get all sad-faced about what happened and scrunchy-faced about what could. Just be here now.” Steel, Coda and Monte have brought so much happiness to my life; to be the recipient of unconditional love is truly special and the gift of living in the now is one that I will treasure long after they leave.

Jared Zornitzer is a full-time college student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY studying engineering. An advocate of balancing work and school with exercise and healthy living, he loves hiking, biking, running, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and learning in his classes.

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