Frankie is a dachshund who overcame adversity after suffering from a spinal injury.
She was custom fit for a wheelchair and keeps on rolling.
Frankie teaches us that animals with disabilities can live quality lives and give back to the world in a positive way.
Elkhart Lake, WI—The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association has chosen Frankie, dachshund of Barbara & John Techel, to be inducted into the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame.
This is the 15th year WVMA has honored pets who have enhanced human lives because of their outstanding contributions. The awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 28th, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Pets are nominated by their local veterinarian in one of the following categories, hero, companion and professional. Frankie was chosen for the companion category. This means she has provided a benefit to her humans, Barbara and John, as well as her community.
Each veterinarian making a nomination is required to send a letter to WVMA explaining why they feel the animal has made a difference. Dr. Greg Bohn of the Kettle Moraine Veterinarian Clinic nominated Frankie and in part had this to say, “Frankie and Barb never gave up hope. Frankie was fitted for a cart and adapted well to her new wheels. She continued to greet and wag her tail at her numerous veterinary visits. I am sure Barb hoped Frankie would walk again and still probably would choose that for her companion if she could. But day by day they make the best of each and every moment. Barb and Frankie have reached out to many others by publishing a book and telling their story. They have made many school appearances and special needs kids are made to feel extra special when Frankie visits.”
Two years after Frankie’s paralysis she became a registered therapy dog through Therapy Dog, Inc. to further her positive message that animals with disabilities can live a quality life and bring joy to others. Frankie now enriches the lives of the elderly, hospital patients and people in hospice.
Bringing a positive face and voice to animals with disabilities has become a passionate mission of Barbara’s because of the lessons she has learned from Frankie. Barbara says, “Frankie never felt sorry for herself. She has taught me that any challenge can be overcome with a positive attitude. Frankie has taught my husband and me what is really important in life. Sharing Frankie’s story with others and knowing she is making a difference is so rewarding. Sometimes I can’t even find the words to express how my heart feels. I am honored WVMA has chosen Frankie for this recognition and the message of hope that Frankie is.”
Frankie continues to inspire Dr. Bohn and the Kettle Moraine Veterinarian Clinic each time she visits. Dr. Bohn ended his letter of recommendation by saying, “When Frankie visits our clinic, you can feel her presence. She has a contagious optimism that causes everyone to pause and notice because they want to be a part of that good feeling that Frankie imparts. As a veterinarian, she has taught me that it is not the outcome that is so important. It is the journey that holds the most meaning. This insight has made me a better doctor.”
Inspired by Frankie’s ability to “keep on rollin” Dr. Bohn is committed to helping pets and their owners make the most of their journeys and the time they have together. Frankie in turn will do what she does best and continues to live life to the fullest and share her infectious spirit with others.
To learn more about Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog you can visit www.joyfulpaws.com and to learn more about WVMA you can visit them on their website at www.wvma.org.
- Barbara Techel
- 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.