for the dogs
by Carie Broecker
Juliet Perlstein is wise and compassionate beyond her years. She recently celebrated her 10th birthday, and for the third year in a row her invitation read – “No gifts please. I prefer you make a donation to Peace of Mind Dog Rescue (POMDR) instead.”
Juliet says she already has everything she needs, and she loves dogs. She has loved dogs as long as she can remember. She comes from a dog-loving family. Her mom, dad, aunt, grandmother, and brother are all big dog-lovers as well. But so far, only Juliet has made the choice to forego birthday gifts, instead directing donations to her favorite dog charity.
Juliet and her family moved to Pacific Grove just before her seventh birthday. Her mom had heard about POMDR, a senior dog rescue that takes in dogs from senior citizens who can no longer care for them, as well as senior dogs from animal shelters. She told Juliet about the group and together they decided that for Juliet’s 7th birthday she would have her friends donate money to POMDR instead of giving her gifts. Juliet has continued the tradition every year since.
Why would a senior dog rescue strike a chord with a seven-year-old? The thought of a senior person not being able to care for their dog and the dog being left behind made Juliet sad. She thought of her own grandmother and her dog, and how sad it would be if anything ever happened so that the two of them could no longer be together. She decided she wanted to do what she could to help, and knew it was more important to help these dogs and people than to receive birthday gifts for herself.
Even without gifts, Juliet had a fabulous 10th birthday with her girlfriends. First, they did makeovers on each other to get ready to go out to dinner. Next was dinner at Juliet’s favorite Japanese restaurant and then out for frozen yogurt for dessert. Back at the house, even though it was Juliet’s birthday, she let her guests choose the movie. She was hoping for Hotel for Dogs or Beverly Hills Chihuahua, but agreed with their choice of Gnomeo and Juliet. That’s Juliet for you, always considerate of others.
It is heartwarming to know there are young people like Juliet in the world who will grow up and continue to make the world a better place to live.