Have a Yappy New Year! The Destin Dog Log’s January edition

P.A. Melle’
Destin resident Beverly Myrick with her boxer Gibbs having fun at the Destin Dog Park.

Staying on the trail: After the holidays, have a few extra pounds made there way to your waistline? Your best furry friend can help you whittle off those calories in no time!  For an easy, breezy walk, just park on old 98 near the Whale’s Tail, as there are nice paved sidewalks to trek along. The fresh air and ocean views are worth the trip. Dogs are not allowed on any beach in Okaloosa County. Walton County residents can purchase annual permits to take their two legged furry kids to Walton County beaches only, and during specific time periods. Large fines are issued to owners/dogs without a permit.

New Trick:Maybe Okaloosa could designate a Dog furriendly section of beach along 98 between the Destin bridge and Fort Walton Beach. The $50 permit fees could generate a lot of funds!  

Now sit and stay: Many local restaurants welcome our pooches with lots of smooches!  If you’re thirsty after your long walk, the Whale’s Tail lower level beachside lounge allows your dog to accompany you in for refreshments. And they have water for Fido.

No begging required: Your posh pooch is also welcomed to join you at Capt. Dave’s beachside, Harry’s T’s harbor side, the Village of Baytowne Wharf sidewalk cafés, O’Quigleys outdoor area, the Harbor Grand Village and Camille’s at Crystal Beach.   

Pooch friendly places to play: The Destin Dog Park is a no leash park. There are separate small and large pooch play areas. A donation box is at the dog park, so please donate often. Jolee Island in Sandestin is also great fun. There are also winding bayside trails at The Village of Baytowne Wharf, which also has a fenced pooch play area with multiple watering stations. A  Bark Park is also located in Santa Rosa Beach. And a day spent at the gorgeous Eden State Park is great fun for the entire family. Dogs must be leashed and vaccine tags must be visible. 

Here’s your barking-orders: Before visiting any of these pawsome destinations, please walk your dog prior to leaving home so that its tank will be empty. We don’t want to wear out our welcome. Parks will issue fines to owners who leave behind any pet landmines.

Pointing out dangers: Oleanders are very toxic to dogs and kids. Sago palms are also highly poisonous. Xylitol, a sugar substitute in some candy, can cause liver failure in dogs.

Wuff  Wuff: Did you know there is a 24 hour emergency poison control number for dogs? Yip yap yup. The phone number is 1-888-426-4435 

Be a Dawg Gone good pet citizen: Neuter your pet. There are just too many homeless cats and dogs. The Paws Clinic in Fort Walton Beach has low cost spay/neuter programs for canines and felines. Call Paws for info at 850-243-1525.

Lacy’s Licks: If good wisdom comes from a trusting heart, then dogs have great wisdom.

Tuckers Tales: My fellow four-legged furry friends: I know your people may seem illogical, inattentive and often forget your daily walks, but love them anyway. The unconditional love and protection we show toward this weaker species is clearly a sign of our superior strength and devotion.

Bailey the Firedog: Wants you to be safe. So whether you’re a resident or visitor, please register your home and cell phone for an emergency alert system notification warning. It’s easy, just go to: www.co.okaloosa.fl.usClick on Public Safety(in blue letters). Then choose the fourth option down, which will be Code Red Residential Data Update. Click on Community Notification Enrollment. Enroll. Check all types of notice and provide phone, cell, and e-mail info. Don’t get caught on a boat, the beach, or be fast asleep when emergency weather conditions are imminent. With the Code Red warning system, your phone will ring with a VIP message. Not computer savvy? Call 850-651-7150 and ask for non-computer registry.

Patty Paramagic thinks a tornado warning siren at the Destin Fire Station would be a barkingly smart idea to alert people and pooches to move toward a safe area swiftly. At 3 a.m., when TVs and radios are off, a siren may save many lives. 

Equine Friends: To go for a trail ride with equine furry friends, the correct contact number for Gulfside Trail Rides in Santa Rosa Beach is (850) 208-3114. 

Paw Script:No hunting dog needed. Place your business ad under this column. A Snip and Save customer discount coupon is one dawg gone good way to bring in more business. Call the Destin Log at 850-654-8485 to place your ad.

Happy tails to you until we meet again.

P.A. Melle’, a.k.a The Destin Dog Whisperer/Pooch Scoop Reporter, is a resident of Destin, freelance writer and American Red Cross volunteer. Send your upcoming pawsome news and/or events, to mustlovedogs@cox.net.