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.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallo-weenie!

Waiting patiently for the trick or treaters to come to my house so they can see me as a long skinny pumpkin on wheels!!

Answers for my Friends in Canada

A few weeks ago I had a grand ol' time doing a Skpe presentation for a fourth grade class in Canada. This past week I received a big envelope with lots of thank you notes and more questions. I LOVE MAIL!! So I thought I'd take this opportunity to answer your questions. And thank you for all the great notes... my mom, papa, sister Kylie, and I all laughed and sometimes got a bit teary-eyed. And a BIG THANK YOU for the awesome T-shirt you sent me! Hope you like the picture of me in it!!

From Rachel: Does Frankie do any tricks?

Well, Rachel, I wish I could say I do tricks, but I don't. I can sort of do wheelie's in my dog wheelchair when I hop with my front legs while in my wheelchair!

From Brandon: What is it like to be in a doggie wheelchair?

You know, that is a great question! It is actually wonderful, because it helps me to go wherever I want to go. So I can run, chase rabbits and squirrels and do all the things I couldn't do when I first got hurt and couldn't use my legs.

Have you ever been injured badly before?

I have not told this story often, but I almost died, which happened about one month before I became paralyzed. My yellow lab sister was 6 months old at the time and chewed up a rug in the kitchen. I ate the carpet strings that she chewed from the rug. I got really sick. I kept throwing up and couldn't stop. My mom rushed me to the vet and I was rushed into surgery. The vet called my mom and told her she saved my life. When he did the surgery the carpet strings had almost wrapped around my intestines, which would have killed me. I'm one lucky dog that my mom saved me!!

From Euggne: Does Frankie have a brother or sister?

I have the best sister in the world! She is a English yellow lab and her name is Kylie. I love her!

Where was Frankie born?

Frankie was born in Madison, Wisconsin

From Jad: Can Frankie run faster than a bike?

Well, not quite, but I am really, really fast in my wheels!!

From Billy: Did Frankie ever enter any other costume contests?

Lots of times!! I even won a $50 gift card for PetSmart once!!

Does Frankie bark alot because I really want to know

Well, not really, Billy. I do bark when someone comes to the front door to protect my family. And I love to bark at big dogs so they see me and don't step on me!!

I'll let my mom answer the following two questions

From Ashlea: How did you feel when you found out Frankie got hurt?

I was very scared and sad. I hoped with all my might Frankie would be okay and thank goodness she was!

How did you get the idea of writing the book about Frankie?

I really got the idea from Frankie because she inspired me. I was also inspired because so many kids loved seeing Frankie and wanted to know her story, so I thought I should write a book about her!

From Tyreece: Is Frankie going to go trick-or-treating?

I don't like to walk real far anymore, so I will be staying home and helping my mom hand out candy to all the trick-or-treaters which I love to do! I will be a pumpkin!

Nonissa: How does Frankie walk up big hills?

Tee hee, I usually don't. My mom carries me.

From Dalsota: How is Frankie when she is really tired?

I just find one of my many beds with blankets my mom has for me in my house and I snuggle under the blanket, get all cozy and fall asleep.

From Ethan: Where do you go when Frankie got paralyzed?

First I had to go to my regular vet and then I had to be rushed to a hospital where they did the surgery on my back. Three days later my mom came and picked me up and brought me home. That was the best when I saw my mom!!

Thank you everyone for all your great questions! If you have more, please feel free to email me at joyfulpaws@yahoo.com


Friday, October 30, 2009

Paralyzed Doxie Ploughs through Life!

I got this really cool picture today from Skippy's owners... they told me they were inspired by my train costume my Dad made for me two years ago... and they came up with this cool John Deere Tractor outfit for Skippy. Way to go, Skippy! You ROCK (and roll!)


Everything Animal with Radio Host Catherine Bradford Replay

And heeeerrrre's my mom on the radio show Everything Animal !! Enjoy... and Arf-a-roo!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Everything Animal Show with Catherine Bradford

Catherine Bradford, host of six wonderful radio shows

Time to once again share the many blessings of animals with disabilities! This time, Radio Host Extraordinare, host of six radio shows, Catherine Bradford, will be talking with my mom about my story. The show will be this Thursday, October 29th at 4:00pm CST. Hope you can join us!!
Just this past week Catherine interviewed Alayne Marker of Rolling Dog Ranch about the distinguished Henry Bergh Award they received. To follow on the heels of Rolling Dog Ranch and their mission to help disabled animals, is such an honor for my mom and me. Do listen to the recording of the show with Alayne. You will feel her heart as she talks about her life on the ranch. I think Rolling Dog Ranch simply Rocks!!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Doggie Carrot Cake

Ok, Ok, I promised my mom I would be a really, really, really good dog if she will make me this doggie carrot cake... hey, wait a minute... I'm always a really good dog! Start baking, Mom! Arf-a-roo! Oh, how I love carrots!! crunch, crunch, crunch! (btw: She found this on line from Guideposts)

Doggie Carrot Cake
Ingredients1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon soy flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼-½ cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup honey
1 cup baby carrots, grated or ground
1. Combine flours, baking soda and peanut butter.
2. Mix in egg, oil, vanilla, honey and carrots until well combined.
3. Pour mixture into a 9x9-inch cake pan.
4. Bake at 325°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
Eat your carrots! WOOF!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Final Tribute to Baxter, the World's Oldest & Greatest Therapy Dog

This is the last picture taken of Baxter from Baxieboos Blog.

It is with great sadness I share the news of a dear, sweet dog, Baxter, who died on Friday, October 16th. He showed the world the true beauty of therapy dog work, up until the last days of his life. He is my hero. I will miss him... but I do know this, he was not afraid to die, and he knows he will see his Mom and Dad again someday. I also know he is in heaven, reunited with all the friends he helped in their time of need, and he is surrounded my many, many angels. His Mom wrote an awesome tribute, and I wanted to share it here with all of you.

See you someday in heaven, dear pal, Baxter. I, and all my therapy dog friends will carry on the work of loving others, in honor and memory of you.

March 23, 1990-October 16, 2009

Baxter, the world's best, most devoted, and oldest therapy dog, 19 years and 6 months, eased peacefully from his life on Friday afternoon, October 16th.

Baxter began volunteering 7 years ago at Sand Diego Hospice. In a place created for making goodbyes gentler, Baxter comforted everyone who crossed his path. He licked tears from grieving faces, gave hugs to those at a loss for words, and warmed the hearts and souls of those who were making their transition. He would take his body and curl himself next to a patient for hours, making this intense eye contact that penetrated the human spirit in everyone, proving his undeniable loyalty, love, and sensitivity. Everyone loved Baxter!

I took in Baxter after he was rescued from a life threatening circumstance. He was 2 years old, and it took me 6 weeks to make him mine. It was not much longer and he became my heart. As I socialize him more and more, I realized Baxter was not like other dogs. He had a gift and everyone who met him witnessed it. Though perhaps difficult to believe, to meet Baxter was an experience. And, you never forgot that experience. He touched everyone he met.

When my husband, Dennis and I went through the volunteer orientation at San Diego Hospice to become volunteers, Baxter accompanied us because he went everywhere with us. During those many hours, he spread his magic spirit throughout the room. And, in the end, the knowing staff exhorted: "You must get Baxter certified. He's magical, and he would make the perfect therapy dog!"

What they recognized was Baxter's special ability to bring light to darkness, smiles to down turned lips, respite to tear swollen faces, and comfort to pained hearts. His mere presence brought joy to rooms that were filled with tragedy and imminent loss.

He was the perfect love affair. His love never ended, he was true to the bone, and his companionship was invaluable. Baxter taught me many of life's lessons. And when I forgot one, he reminded me in the subtlest of ways. He was consistent, reliable, and predictable. He was always in a good mood, prepared to volunteer and full of love, kisses and devotion.

There has never been a dog like Baxter in my life. And there will never be another Baxter. He truly was the world's best therapy dog.

Though Baxter is gone, his legacy lives on through his book. MOMENTS WITH BAXTER, a series of 36 true stories and photos that demonstrate the magical connection Baxter made with individuals at the end of their life.

Visit Baxter at his website.

~Melissa Joseph, Baxter's mom and author of MOMENTS WITH BAXTER


Friday, October 16, 2009

Frankie named Top 10 Best Dog Blogs!

Well, hot-diggity dog! How very exciting to receive notice that my blog was named a Top 10 Best Dog Blog. I think that calls for celebration of extra treats, hugs and kisses... so come on Mom, I'm waiting!!..... Here are the other fantastic blogs I was fortunate enough to be among, reposted from Coffee Talk with Baxter:
1. Celebrity Dog Watcher - It looks like the puparazzi has been busy at work on this site. These celebdogs are living large in Louis Vuitton. We should all be so lucky. There's a place for everyday dogs too; check out the Top Dog Of The Day feature.
2. Once Upon A Dog BlogMeet PeachPops. He loves Art, Johnny Cash and sleeping under his Wisteria tree. Then again, who doesn't? Straight out of SoCal, his blogs are always eclectic and interesting.
3. Tibby Tales "A Dog-Gone Blog"
Tibby is adorable! She blogs A LOT and has her own doggy calender. She is very involved in her owner's lives and blogs about everything from birthdays to taking care of the family lizard.
4. It's My Dog's World: I Just Live In ItThis dogblog is written by Martha, the proud owner of a rescued pitbull mix. I actually laugh aloud at some of these posts. With witty headlines such as: "Does this dog food bag make my butt look fat?" and "Cats I have met lately", it's difficult to leave this website. P.S. Love the recent post on the Hell's Kitchen Shar Pei, Susie.

5. Daisy Mae TalesThis Tennessee terrier definitely has that Southern charm. Daisy posts tons of photos which quick and cute captions. Whether hanging out in a teacup, riding in the local 4th of July parade or sporting her new outfit, her personality shines through.
6. Eduardo The Snuggle Puggle Eduardo enjoys donating his time for a good cause. You can find him walking for cancer care or spending time with his girlfriend, Roxy. We commend Eduardo for always looking out for his fellow dog... and people friends.
7. Frankie The Walk N Roll DogOur Top 10 list would not be complete without this well-known and much loved roller dog. This weiner dog has one of the most popular dog blogs. Frankie's disability doesn't detour her from participating in fundraisers for the Humane Society. Keep up the good work, Frankie.
8. Owned By Pugs This dogblog is very clean and well designed. Plus, it's owned by pugs! These dogs sleep, tweet, and blog. That's a lot of work for one dog, but when they share these tasks it makes for entertainment and lots of updates. We love that.
9. New York Dog BlogWe just can't get enough pugblogs. It's true, Pugs love blogging, but New York Dog Blog includes a group of four dogs on the town. New York City, Times Square, Chelsea piers... it's a dog playground out there.
10. Dogster's "for the love of dog" blogEvery dog should have this site in their blogroll. With insightful and refreshing content, a nice array of dog photos from all over the net, and an easy to navigate design, Dogster's is showing blog pups how a dogblog should be. Register to win a photo contest or "bark back" to the dogster blog. You can even get Dogster's delivered to your inbox. We give this one two paws up.Did we miss your favorite? Let us know...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kids Share their Thoughts from Virtual Visit with Frankie

My friends in Canada shared these super fun thoughts after I visited with them via Skype last week... they posted this on their blog also, but I was so proud I wanted to share on my blog too!

"I really liked when you told us that there is always a blessing in something bad that happens. It was also cool when you showed us how to put Frankie in her wheels." Ashlea Age 9"

I really enjoyed when I got to ask questions! I was very excited when I got to ask my question. Frankie must be a truly happy dog" Amanpreet, Age 9 "

Our Skype was so fun! I really like when Frankie put on her life jacket for the bathtub. I also liked her train costume. I really liked learning more about Frankie" Josh, Age 9"

My favourite part was when we found out what it was like to have a disability. I enjoyed talking to you and Frankie. I really liked the video of her walking. I think she should be in the Olympics." Cassie Age 9"

Our Skype experience was amazing. I liked learning about Frankie. Frankie looked cute in her costume." Stephanie Age 9"

I really liked how we got to Skype with you and Frankie. It was a great experience seeing Frankie. Thank you once more for choosing our class. That was very exciting. I loved it!" Jazzie Age 9"

Our Skype experience was so fun! It was so cool how we learned so much about Frankie!" Dakota Age 9"

I really enjoyed Skyping with Frankie and Barb. I really liked when Frankie was in the Pet Hall of Fame because I never thought that any kind of pet could actually be in the Pet Hall of Fame! Thank you Barb for skyping. I really really liked it!" Rachel Age 9"

My class and I loved the picture of Frankie and Kylie cuddled up together. We were amazed by the book you read us!" Brandon Age 8"

My favourite part was talking to you and Frankie and have a great experience with you. I loved learning about how Frankie got hurt." Aly Age 9


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Share Your Positivity

Imagine, just imagine if we all made an attitude adjustment and decided to stay positive no matter what... if we remembered we always have a choice, no matter what... wow, what that would do for the world, right? I taught my mom to be positive and she kisses and hugs me every day for it... I'd say that makes me a pretty lucky... and positive pup! Check me out at
Share Your Positivity and share yours too!! And remember my motto: "Always be positive and keep on rolling!!"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meet Frankie LIVE on the Internet- Virtual Visits Now Available

**Inspire them to look past what may be considered misfortunes
**Teach them to face challenges head on
**Give them hope that no matter what, all things are possible

Official Mascot for National Disabled Pets Day & Hall of Fame Companion, Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog will leave an everlasting and loving paw print on their heart

My mom and I are asking for your help. It really is quite easy to do… and for helping us we have a free gift for you (keep reading for details).

We are now offering Virtual Visits with me, Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog! We are now able to do our Frankie presentations that we currently offer to our local schools in person (and rolling dog!) via the free software of Skype and a web cam, but these are done… well, virtually!! Here is a video clip explaining.

Would you be willing to forward this message to any elementary teachers or librarians you know? We would certainly appreciate your efforts. Just email us that you forwarded it and we will send you a link to download Frankie’s Activity E-book for free!

Please be sure to share with any teachers or librarians that you do forward this to that the first one to contact us will receive their Virtual Visit for FREE!

Check out this resource on how to set up a Virtual Visit...

Thank you so much for your help and for helping us spread my message of hope and inspiration!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Dachshund Song

Guaranteed to make you giggle...

The Dachshund Song


Friday, October 2, 2009

Update & More Pics from Frankie's Froedert Hospital Visit

I'm so happy to tell you I received a note from Leisa, whose sweet, nice Dad I visited a few weeks ago at Froedert hospital (he was there after suffering a 2nd stroke within 3-months).
Here is what she had to say:

"The day after Frankie sat in my Dad's lap at Froedert Hospital, and licked his hand on the side that he had no feeling/movement, he began to get some feeling/movement back.

He is mostly able to clean/dress himself, and walks with a one handed walker and minimum assistance. He is getting stronger every day, and his will for recovery is amazing. Your visit meant so much to my Dad and I. Your mom is a wonderful, caring woman, and you, Frankie are a "blessing on wheels"!

Awwww, shucks... just being me and so happy I could bring your Dad a smile! Thanks for sharing with us, Leisa. Please tell your Dad Arf-a-roo and to keep on rolling!!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Frankie to take Part in Fon du Lac Humane Society Wag & Walk Fundraiser

I really love helping out others... especially animals! So I'm excited to be a part of the Fond du Lac Humane Society Wag & Walk on Saturday, Otober 17th. The event will be held at The Little Farmer in Fond du Lac from 9:00a-1:00p. I hope you can join us!! I will be there pawtographing my books and donating a portion of the proceeds to this wonderful Humane Society.

A 1-mile and 3-mile walk will take place on paths thru the apple fields and pumpkin patch at The Little Farmer. Bring your pets, kids, strollers and wagons!!

9:00-9:30a: Registration

9:30a: Pet Halloween Costume Parade

10:00-11:00a: Walk (with our without your pets)

11:30a: Pet contests & top pledge raiser prizes12:15a: Demonstrations (K-9 Officer and Dancers with Woofs)

1:00p: Raffle prize winners and kiss the pig award ceremony


Paw Print Keepsakes For your dog

Kids Activity Area with Games

Frankie- The Walk 'N Roll Dog (that's me!!)

Dancers with Woofs

Chippy's Kettle Corn

Caricature Artist- Fun Art for You and Your Furry Friend

Halloween Costume Pet Parade

Awesome Raffles

Pet Trade Fair

Shelter Pet "Alumni Reunion"

Face Painting and Kids Tattoos

Get Your Pet Micro-Chipped for $10

Pet Contests: Pet & Human Look Alike, Best Trick, Most Unusual, Pet Best Singer, Shortest & Longest Tail

Food Concessions

The Little Farmer, Hwy. 151, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Hope you can join me, my mom and papa for this fun-filled day at The Little Farmer for a wonderful cause!!