Patty at Desk
Patty Petting Dog in Kennel

Walton County Animal Shelter (WCAS) in DeFuniak Springs, Florida serves as the only animal shelter in the county for approximately 75,000 human residents (2020 census). Although Alaqua Animal Refuge and other animal-focused non-profits are located in Walton County, these organizations are classified as rescues, rather than shelters, which is an important distinction.

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Dog-Harmony hosted Amanda Rietheimer, CDBC, CPDT-KA of Behavior Focus of Houston on July 29th for a workshop dedicated to managing shy (fearful) and reactive dogs in shelter environments. Her first question posed to the audience of animal shelter workers, volunteers and dog lovers, was, “What behavior do we want?” Aggression and reactivity are the same thing – just a label. Rietheimer said, “what we want is to avoid the use of the label.”

Photograph of Beau, a chocolate Labrador

Beau’s dad woke up to him gagging and trying to vomit on his dog bed early on the 4th of July. He rolled out of bed and went over to Beau, a chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy, to help, somehow. Beau stopped gagging and his tall was wagging once more. Beau then proceeded to drink water and eat breakfast after his morning yard run.

Every year, no-kill Stray Rescue saves over 2,000 animals, and every single one of them are given the second chance they all deserve. But this year, that record has already been shattered and more lives have been saved than ever before, thanks to the leadership of one woman with a big heart. 

Andrew Farmer is a realtor that recently joined Live30A Real Estate, whose tagline is “real estate with greater purpose,” in South Walton County, Florida. Andrew and his dog, Vivian, are also loyal volunteers at Dog-Harmony.

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Chelsea and Kelly Taylor of Destin Brewery love dogs, running, Mind Body Brew stretch class and craft beer! Founded in 2014 in the heart of “Old Destin,” Destin Brewery has become the craft beer home and gathering place for two- and four-legged friends, families, locals and visitors.

Patio Pups went wild celebrating National Dog Day on August 26th at Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar located on the iconic County Highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The chef created an irresistible Tailwacker dessert to spoil Shunk’s Patio Pups on their special day. Water bowls and free belly rubs are also included in the South Patio dining experience, too. Let’s not kid ourselves – these Patio Pups are celebrated every day at Shunk Gulley!

I fostered a very cute and very large puppy while living in an apartment building. We were walking to dog station in the parking lot for the last bathroom break of the evening, when he started humping my leg – repeatedly – under the street lamp. Try as I might, I couldn’t get him to disengage – and not before he pulled my shorts down. The neighbors saw a different kind of full moon that evening.

Meet the rescued stars of Robin’s Bikes & Fitness family: Bubba, the shop cat, and Paige and Denny, the shop dogs. Their humans are: Owner, Robin Wilkes; Store Manager, Amy Yanora; and Service Manager, Tommy Sager. The family is often joined by guest stars, Lulu, and, most recently, Koda, the Dog-Harmony foster dog that is working on his socialization skills.

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We were surrounded by three Sheriff’s Deputies with three highly trained K-9s, a Lieutenant and a Public Information Officer from Walton County’s Sheriff’s Office. After the fear dissipated, we were able to get a sense of these amazing K-9 teams’ unique personalities and their roles through off-leash demonstrations. We had not expected the depth of the connection and bond between the dog and its handler.