Column: Don’t miss the Pup Up Market

John Akal
Posted 9/7/22

There are a lot of things in life that make me happy.

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Column: Don’t miss the Pup Up Market


There are a lot of things in life that make me happy. I’m not super hard to please. I get a kick out of a million things. Just finding a good restaurant or hearing a good band or watching an entertaining movie on TV can make me feel good. It doesn’t even have to be a very good movie. If it starts to get stupid, I can just change the channel and find another one. Actually, in this day and age you can change the channel and find about 10,000 of them. 

If I started counting all the things that I find fun and uplifting, it would take three days. I’m a pretty optimistic person. But then there are the irritating things we run into everyday that turn our smiles upside down. Most of the time it’s just something minor that only spoils the moment. Unfortunately, we all have things happen in our lives that really get us upset and it can put us in a bad or anxious mood for days.

When that happens to me, I have two things that can usually instantly change my mood from dark to bright in a matter of seconds. Maxim and Ivan. My two Siberian Huskies. All they have to do is walk into the room and it feels better, but when they put their heads on my lap, it just magically makes the blues disappear. Playing with them or taking them for a walk will totally clear my head and somehow whatever it was that got me really upset either just goes away or a solution to the problem starts to become clearer. Pets that you love and love you can save you a fortune on psychological therapy.

In my lifetime I have had about 15 dogs and 10 cats. I’ve also had pet birds, gerbils, Guinea pigs, rabbits, fish, lizards, turtles and even an exotic coati mundi that’s a story in itself. Some of them live longer than others. I still have a cockatoo that is about 40 years old, but all of them have brought some kind of joy to my life. And the same is true for lots and lots of people. You’re probably one of them.

I’ve acquired some of my pets from pet shops and breeders over the years, but the majority of my animal companions have come from shelters, including the one we have right here in Golden. Foothills Animal Shelter. That place means so much to my family that some of them have added them to their last wills and testaments. My Mom and Dad’s obituaries included the notation of “In lieu of flowers send a donation to…”

So, it makes me happy to include them and one of their upcoming events here in Avenue Flashes because it sounds like a lot of fun and helps out an organization that is close to my heart.

Foothills Animal Shelter is having something called the Pup Up Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 10. The event will have everything from local vendors, to live music, food trucks, breweries and plenty of adoptable animals that can help make your household complete. Or you can just come by, have some fun and make a contribution either by purchasing something at the event or giving a little bit to them directly. It’s a great way to help them with all the expenses that come with taking care of thousands of animals.

Right now, a lot of people are having a hard time just paying their bills and keeping things going and a some of them have had to make the hard choice of surrendering a beloved pet because they just can’t afford to keep them anymore. That has created a situation where all of the area shelters are filled to capacity and they really need to find new homes for a lot of cats and doggies. If you have been thinking about adopting one, now would be a great time to do so. There are plenty of them to choose from and you will probably find just what you are looking for sitting there waiting for you to come and take them home.You can even check out the available pets on line by going to

Foothills Animal Shelter is located at 580 McIntyre Street here in Golden, right next to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Check them out. Your new BFF might be there just hoping you would.

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 multimedia production. He can be reached at


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