- 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.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The staff and the students and especially Mrs. Nevin's the librarian extraordinaire were so good to us. Frankie and I now feel like a part of the school family! I felt today feeling so good about all the new friends we made. I have always loved Elkhart Lake, but now I love it even more. My community has been so supportive of Frankie and now being at school has made us feel even more a part of wonderful Elkhart Lake.
The teachers just started putting together websites for their classrooms. They took pictures of our visits and I want to thank Mrs. Reineking and Mrs. Matthias for posting pictures of our visit (please be patient as they do take a bit to download).
Thank you again, especially to all the students for their enthusiasm, kindness and compassion for Frankie. We will never forget our three very special days with all of you!!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Question submitted by Emily, 11
Are you able to eat from a dish with your wheels on?
Absolutely yes! I love breakfast and dinner time! I think it is my favorite two times of the day. Below are three short videos my mom took of me when it was time to eat dinner. YUM!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Why did you name her Frankie?
Well, there was a movie and song from many years ago. Before you were even born!! The movie's lead female character's name was Frankie. I remember thinking how fun that was for a girls name. So I knew long before I got a wiener dog that I would name her Frankie. Her real name is Francesca, but her nickname is Frankie. She prefers Frankie cause Francesca means she has to behave. Hee Hee
Question submitted by Ryan from Longfellow School
Do you like to sleep? Do you still like to play?
I love to sleep! It is one of my favorite things to do! I especially like to have a warm spot in the sunshine when I take a snooze. This picture of me is after my mom and I did a presentation at school. When we got home I was really tired!
I also love to play too. My favorite toys are anything with squeakers. The more the better!!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
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.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
What is it like having wheels?
That is a very good question Kaiden. I'm so glad to have wheels. I'm very thankful for Eddie's Wheels who made my custom cart for me. If I didn't have wheels I couldn't zoom around the yard very fast. I can also go on walks with my mom, papa and yellow lab sister, Kylie because I have my wheels. Otherwise I would have to stay home and then I would be sad. Years and years ago they didn't make wheels for dogs with spinal injuries. My mom and I are grateful for all the companies that make them now. My wheels have given me a life I never dreamed of. It is so fun and wonderful to meet kids. It is also so nice to be able to visit people in the hospital and cheer up the elderly in nursing homes. They always smile when they see me rolling through the door! So having wheels is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I will always be grateful my mom and dad bought them for me. I love them very much.
And hey kids, now is the best time to start writing!! Pick a subject you are passionate about and just start writing! If you love writing, think about starting a kids writing group. Put posters up in your school with a time and date you can meet each week in the library.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Does Frankie like to play in the snow?
Absolutely, without out a doubt, this is a very easy question for me to answer... NO WAY... NOPE...NO! I am a "weenie" when it comes to the snow and cold. I shake and shiver and carry on like I am going to freeze to death... and that is in 40 degree weather! I admit it, I don't care for winter. But this is where my mom and dad live, so I just have to put up with it. Mom buys me lots of pretty sweaters and coats though to keep me warm, so I'm very happy about that. I'm a little spoiled. BIG GRIN. Now, my sister, Kylie.... well, she LOVES the snow! She is a yellow lab and snorkels her snout in the snow and puffs the flakes out her nostrils. It is very funny to see... from the front window looking out I might add.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Pillow fights are the best, aren't they? Well, they are rather fun to snuggle up with too. A fan of mine, Wendy, sent me a photo of the Christmas gift she received, which was a Frankie pillow! Did you know I have those? I do! I do! You too could snuggle up with me... check it out in my on line store at Cafe Press. You will find the pillow there with lots of other Frankie goodies. Wendy said she loves her new pillow, and so do her really cute little doxie's Gretta and Elliot. Happy dreams!