Avenue Flashes

Doggone important family members

John Akal
Posted 9/11/17

As if we needed another reason to be thankful we live in Golden Colorado, the recent events involving Mother Nature around the country have put us right smack in the middle of the “No Problem Zone” for a little while. With hurricanes to the …

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Avenue Flashes

Doggone important family members

Posted

As if we needed another reason to be thankful we live in Golden Colorado, the recent events involving Mother Nature around the country have put us right smack in the middle of the “No Problem Zone” for a little while. With hurricanes to the south and major wildfires to the west and northwest we have been blessed by being out of harms way for the time being.

While watching the coverage of these disastrous events, you often see that it involves more than just people. So many folks also have pets to worry about too. I can’t count how many scenes of rescue crews saving dogs, cats and even birds and small animals there were. If you are a pet owner, you know how much a part of the family these creatures can be.

In addition to the shelters for people in these devastated areas, the animal shelters are filled to capacity and overflowing as well. For once, there looks like there was some consideration given in advance to pets. I saw numerous examples of ways they were accommodating people with their beloved animals.

But it doesn’t take a natural disaster for people to find themselves in a situation where they just can’t keep the pets they have and that’s where all the local animal shelters across the country come in to help. They also serve as a lost and found location where you can recover a runaway.

Here in Golden we have one of the finest facilities of it’s kind in the country — the Foothills Animal Shelter. My dog Dakota came from there and my family has adopted several cats and dogs from local shelters.

The Foothills Animal Shelter provides a lot more than just lost and found services or a place to leave and adopt a pet. They offer spay and neuter clinics, vaccines and microchips, licensing, pet education and classes as well as providing a place for emergency evacuation.

Now, as wonderful as all this is, it doesn’t come without costs. It takes quite a bit of money to keep these places up and running. Foothills Animal Shelter took in and cared for more than 9,000 pets last year alone. Give that a moment’s thought and you can guess at what it costs to service our community.

Well this weekend you can participate in a terrific way to raise money for the shelter. It’s the second annual Toby’s Parade and Fair, Saturday, Sept. 16, in downtown Golden.

It all starts out at about 8:30 a.m. with a pet costume parade where you can dress up your pets (and yourself as well if you like) in some kind of outfit. You do need to register, and I’ll get to that in a moment.

The parade heads over to Parfet Park at 10th Street and Washington Avenue where the rest of the fair will be starting at around 10:30 a.m.. There you will find family friendly games and activities, dog agility demonstrations, vendor booths, live music, food trucks and costume contest results. It runs until 1 p.m. and everyone is encouraged to bring their dogs along for the fun.

For complete details and to register for the parade go to www.foothillsanimalshelter.org and click on Toby’s picture. That will take you to the event page where you can find out everything you need to know as well as check out Toby’s touching story and see how tragedy can become something wonderful. There are also lots of fun photos with costume ideas for your pets. Check it out.

Attending the parade and fair is free and there are many ways you can contribute to help the Foothills Animal Shelter. It’s a terrific way for you and your pet to have some fun together, meet other pet owners and see something you only get to witness once a year. A dog dressed like an alligator.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com

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