About Me

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Barbara Techel is the author of the multi-award winning Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog book series. When her dachshund, Frankie, suffered a spinal injury, Barbara had her custom-fitted for a wheelchair. Frankie persevered, and Barbara realized the beautiful opportunity she had to share Frankie and give others hope and inspiration to be the best they can be. Along with sharing Frankie’s story with children, Barbara and Frankie routinely volunteer as a therapy dog team at a local hospital, senior assisted facility, and hospice community, spreading joy wherever they go.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Frankie's Therapy Work

submitted by Jordon, age 10

How often does Frankie do her therapy work?

I love my therapy work!! It really depends what my mom has scheduled for us each week. If we have lots of presentations at schools, we don't usually get a therapy dog visit in. But if our schedule for the week is light, we will go about twice a week.

Every month we have a standing appointment on the third Monday of the month when we visit Libby's House which is a senior assisted living facility. There is a wonderful man there who really loves me alot! He always gets down on his hands and knees to pet me even though he is in his 70's!

I started my therapy work in September and since then we have made 15 visits!! I hope to do more in 2009. I love seeing people smile.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Question I Have Never Been Asked!

Submitted by Emma, age 10

Has Frankie ever been a skunk for Halloween?

Well, dog-gone, this is a first! I have never been asked if I was a skunk? I can be quite the little stinker now and then, but no, never have dressed up like a skunk. Might be kind of fun though. Do you think kids would say, P.U. to me? I suppose only if I sprayed, huh? And since I'm really not a skunk, even though I'd be dressed as one, I couldn't really spray anyways.
It would be fun to have a white stripe down my back. Maybe my mom can paint one down the middle of my back. That would be funny! I could scare my papa!
Oh no, I'm getting quite devious with this question, so I better sign off and go take a nap!

Most Often Asked Question about Frankie

Submitted by Connor, Justin, and Karl, age 9 and Seirra, age 10

How old is Frankie?

I am proud to say I am 9 years old! That would be 63 in human years. Gee, guess I am close to retirement age! But don't worry, I have no plans of retiring anytime soon. I love meeting new kids and making new friends.
My birthday is August 20, 1999.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Frankie's Therapy Dog Work

Question submitted by Jade and Andrea, age 10 from school in Canada

Does Frankie like working at the hospitals?

I do! I do! One day I was requested to visit every staff member in every department in the hospital. Took me over two hours to visit everyone, but it sure was fun! The hospital was working to raise money for a charity and one of the prizes for reaching their goal was a visit from a therapy dog of their choice. They picked me! Boy, was I honored! That is me in the photo above with two of the staff members. I had my picture taken with each department. There are about seven different therapy dogs that work at my local hospital right now. My favorite thing to do when I go to the hospital is to visit the pediatric floor. I feel bad when kids are not feeling well and need to be there. But when they see me they always smile! My mom picks me up and sets me on the patients bed and they get to pet me. I love being pet and I especially love to see kids smile.

Frankie's Special Wheels

Question submitted by Lucas from school in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Frankie, Where did you get your wheels?
My wheels came from a company in Shelburn Falls, MA called Eddie's Wheels (www.eddieswheels.com). They are a really cool company! Eddie had a dog many years ago that couldn't walk. He had a back injury. Eddie's regular job at the time was an Engineer. This meant he liked to design and build things. When his dog couldn't walk he went into his basement and designed a doggie wheelchair for his dog. Eddie's vet said it would never work and didn't think the dog would walk in it. But he did! The vet was amazed!! The vet started telling other people about Eddie and sending their dogs who couldn't walk to him. That is how Eddie company started. He now makes wheels for dogs around the world!!
My cart is custom fit to fit me. My mom and dad measured from the base of my neck to the end of where my tail starts. This would determine how long my cart would be. They then measured from the top of my belly to the bottom of the floor. This determined how high my cart would be. The rest is history... once my cart arrived and I figured out how it worked, nothing stopped me from zooming around the house!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Frankie, the Hallo-Weenie!

Does Frankie dress up for Halloween and if so, what does she like to wear?
My mom told me she would never dress me up in a hot dog costume, but here I am as a hot dog! Can you believe it? Well, as I've heard her tell the story, here it is:
Her friend Diane bought this hot dog outfit for me after I had gotten hurt. Diane said, "Now that you will be visiting schools with Frankie, I bet they'd love to see Frankie in this costume." My mom still was not quite sure about that. Then one day she heard an advertisement about the Oscar Meyer Wiener mobile (http://www.reedberry.com/wienermobile.html) and she said out loud to herself, "Hey, guess what? I have my own version of the Oscar Meyer Wiener mobile with Frankie!" She figured since I have wheels like the wiener mobile, along with my hot dog costume, I was a miniature version of the Oscar Meyer Wiener mobile. Okay, so I don't really mind. When we visit schools my mom shows this picture and the kids just LOVE it! So making kids smile and laugh makes me happy, so I don't mind having to be a hot dog mobile now and then.
Question submitted by Claire, Age 10

Frankie the same or different?

Frankie, are you the same as other dogs or are you different in some ways?
Question submitted by Olivia, Grade 3 from Wisconsin

Wow, Olivia this is a great question. Just like people, dogs are all different too, but we are also the same in many ways. I am like many dogs in that I like to bark, eat my kibble, run and play and take naps. The way in which I am different is that I need the help of my doggie wheelchair to get around. But I am the same me just like I was before I hurt my legs. Nothing has changed about me except I just need the help of my wheels to help me walk. That's all.
Just like some people need a wheelchair to help them so that makes them different. Everyone is different just like dogs. Some people have blonde hair, some have brown. Some dogs have red hair, while some have brown. Some have blue eyes, some green or brown. Some people are short or tall and some dogs are tall or short like me!
Hope that answers your question, Olivia! Thanks for such a great one.

Frankie a Sport Fanatic?

What is Frankie's Favorite Sport to Watch?

Hands down it is football!! The photo above was taken before I hurt myself, so as you can see I am standing. Around my neck I have green and gold beads, which is for the Packers!! So you might have guessed, that yup, I live in Wisconsin where everyone is into football and supports the Packers. I wear my beads every Sunday for the Packer game. I love Sundays cause my mom makes snacks for her and my papa and then my sister Kylie and I get special treats too. GO PACKERS!!

Questions submitted by Hesed, Age 9

Monday, December 1, 2008

What is your favorite thing to do with your wheels?

This question was submitted by Abbey, age 10.

What is your favorite thing to do with your wheels?

Wheelie's! Okay, just kidding, I can't really do wheelie's. But I did lose a tire once going around the corner. It wasn't on tight enough and I lost it flying around the living room one day. Mom and Dad laughed really hard. It was quite funny to see.

Honestly my favorite thing to do with my wheels is visit school children. I love to show them that I love my life in my wheels! I also love to visit older people in nursing homes. They love to see me and I always make them smile. Another thing I like to do is visit patients in hospitals and cheer them up. Works everytime! Hard not to smile when you see a little dog rolling into your room on tires!

I also love to go for little walks in the woods and try and find chipmunks and squirrels. I can run really, really fast in my wheels. Just ask my mom!

What is Frankie's Favorite Food?

Today is the 1st day of a series of questions that were submitted by a school in Canada. After watching Frankie's inspirational video (http://www.joyfulpaws.com/), the kids had many questions about Frankie.
I was so inspired by their questions, as well as so touched of by their interest that I decided to start a blog devoted to answering their questions. The questions will be answered by Frankie herself (with a little help from me, her mom). So here we go!!

Today's first question is from Mallory, age 10 & Corbin, Age 9


I love to eat!! I would eat everything I could if my mom would let me. But I'm sure I would end up with a big tummy ache if I did that.

My favorite food is popcorn! Every Friday the bank where my mom does her banking gives away free popcorn. So just about every Friday my mom has banking to do, so we go through the drive-thru. I sit in the front passenger side in my car seat and patiently wait for our bag of popcorn. As we drive home my mom shares her popcorn with me. I love Fridays and popcorn! I crunch, crunch, crunch really loud and my mom always giggles at me. The picture to the left is a photo of me in my car seat.
Thank you, Mallory and Corbin! Stay tuned for tomorrow's question!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Frankie's blog!

Frankie and I are starting this blog to communicate with school children who we may not get to actually visit in person. We hope it will be a way children can learn about Frankie and ask questions. Frankie and I love sharing our message with kids and we hope we can inspire many more kids by having this blog. We were inspired by a 7th grade class in Canada to start this blog. Karen, the teacher contacted me and told me the kids had watched Frankie's video. The kids are putting together their own compassion video's. They were so inspired by Frankie's story that they are doing raffles to raise money to donate to animals in need. Isn't that wonderful? So thank you, Karen and all the 7th graders. We look forward to answering your questions soon via our new blog that you inspired!!
We will keep you posted as we make progress and see where this will take us. In the meantime, remember, Always be positive and keep on rolling!