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, February 26, 2010

Official Book Launch this Saturday & Sunday- Great Way to Support the Alzheimer's Association

Lights!  Camera!  Action!  Check out the video mom and I did explaining our fun on-line book lauch starting tomorrow, Feb. 27 and running through Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010!  30% of all book proceeds this weekend will go to the Alzheimer's Association.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Iggy the Iguna Helps Kids Be the Best they Can Be!

The real Iggy the Iguana!

Melissa Williams has been writing stories since she was eight years old.  Many of her stories were inspired by real life experiences with childhood pets.  One such pet, Iggy, inspired her book series...

Melissa as a child with Iggy

This is so dog-gone exciting for me to interview an Iguana! I think we could safely say this is an exclusive interview, because how often do you see a dog on wheels interviewing a way cool Iguana, right?

Welcome Iggy! Thank you to all my readers for tuning into my very exclusive interview with one handsome and kind Iguana. (I blush as I do this interview)…

Frankie:  Hey Iggy! First of all, I think you are so cute! Would you ever consider being my boyfriend?

Iggy:  Ha! Thanks Frankie! But, I think Liz may have a problem with me moving on so soon. :O)

Frankie: Ok, let’s get down to more serious things. We have lots in common with what we both teach children about acceptance and overcoming challenges. I really like that about you. What would you say is the one biggest thing kids struggle with today? How do you help them with that?

I think that kids are so worried about what others think about them. Its almost as if bullying has gone to a whole new level these days, so we have to set an example to teach kids not to leave others out or make fun of them behind their back. It is time to start treating others the way you would want to be treated! Everyone's life situation, environment, and background makes them unique and shouldn't be held against them through judgment.

Frankie:  You visit many schools sharing your message. Can you tell us about one of your favorite visits? Or something a child said that inspired you?

Sometimes I ask kids what they have learned from my story, and many of them will say to always be yourself and don't make up things to look "cool." It is awesome to hear that they are relating to me.

Frankie:  Speaking of inspiration, what inspires you to keep helping your mom, Melissa write books?

We always remember that the kids (the fans) and the parents are the biggest inspiration for us. When we get emails from people telling us that they are waiting for the next book to come out or they appreciate the values and messages in the series ... it motivates both of us even more. When you start doing something for others and they show their appreciation, it helps you keep going, even into the wee hours of the night.

Frankie:  What advice would you have for kids who think they may want to be a writer/author someday?

Do it! Never second guess your passion and God-given gifts, they are meant to be put back into the world. If you are a young inspiring author to be, definitely find a mentor, someone you look up to and can guide you. Surround yourself with like-minded people and get involved in writing clubs and classes and immerse yourself in literature and even movies. Start to understand why the writers have chosen certain themes, characters, and the deeper meaning behind their writing.

Frankie:  If a bully comes up to you and tries to pick a fight, what advice do you have?

Don't fight. It will make everything worse. If the bully sees that he is bothering you, he is just going to keep doing it. Ignoring the aggression at first will help, but also offering your friendship later may be just what he or she needed but didn't know it.

Frankie: As you know Iggy, I am in a wheelchair (I like to consider it my custom hot-rod). What would you say to another child if you saw them picking on me?

I would stand up for you and defend you by asking, how would they like it if someone was that mean to them? I would let them know that I was your friend, and I would get us away from the situation. This will ultimately make bully feel foolish on the inside, even he if he tries to hide it with more mean words on the outside.

Frankie:  How old are you Iggy and how long does an Iguana usually live? I know being a character in a book means you can live on forever, which I think is awesome.

I am 10 years old, and since my character is basically human-like in the book, I can live as long as humans do.

Frankie: What is your biggest wish for children?

I wish that kids won't be discouraged when things to go right or perfectly the first time around. We have to give ourselves chances to make mistakes and learn from them. Ultimately, when we are accepting to ourselves, we will share that acceptance toward others. Believe in yourself and never give up!

Thanks so much, Iggy!  I know the kids who follow my blog will learn so much from you.  I think you really rock... err, well maybe slither, huh?  Well, what I am trying to say is I think you are so cool!

For more information about Iggy and Melissa visit their very fun website!

Order copies of Iggy's books today!



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Frankie Learns All About the Olympics!

Lynnmour School in Canada has practically had a front row seat to the Olympics- well sort of, as they are near by the event.  In fact, the Olympic torch even ran past their school and they took part in watching.  Isn't that fun?
They have taught me so many things about the Olympics and I love learning about it ALL!  In fact, because of their awesome blog project they were hosted on the official Olympic site-- way, way cool!
As a gift they sent me a  very special Olympic pin, which I am showing off in this photo (you have to look kind of close- not too close though or I might lick you!).  Thank you to all my friends in Canada- I love you guys!
I will wear my pin when I visit schools and do my therapy dog work, so I can show it off.  Thank you again everyone- you are all pawsome!  ARF-A-ROO!
Read more at Frankie's Friends, the Canadian Connection


Kid Tested & Kid Approved

Nothing better than kids reviewing my books!  Wait till you hear what Madeline, age 8.5 and Sophia, age 7 had to say about my newest book, Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby's House!  It is way cool.  As part of their curriculum being taught at home (which I think rocks!) they review books for Reader Views Kids.  Isn't that great?  So check out their reviews below.  Arf-a-roo, Madeline & Sophia!

Frankie the Walk 'n Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House

Barbara Gail Techel
Joyful Paws (2010)
ISBN 9780980005240
Reviewed by Sophia (age 7) and Madeline (age 8.5) McElroy for Reader Views (02/10)

Madeline: This is a true story about Frankie the walk 'n roll dog becoming a therapy dog. Frankie visits nursing homes to make the older people feel better. Every time Frankie visits, the older people love it! Frankie’s mom is very proud that Frankie is a therapy dog. Frankie goes to a special nursing home called Libby’s House. Frankie meets a 70-year-old man named Daniel. Frankie loves to play with Daniel; they have a lot of fun.

My favorite picture is when Frankie takes a bath in the sink. My favorite part of the story is when Frankie becomes a therapy dog. I think kids should read this book because it encourages children to keep on moving and to do their best. Frankie is so special because she can make many people feel better. First I thought about how sad it is that Frankie can’t walk but she is so happy and makes people happy too.

I have read the first book, “Frankie the Walk 'n Roll Dog,” and this one is great also!

Sophia: This is a book about a dog named Frankie and she is becoming a therapy dog. She helps sick and old people. She is a cute dog. My favorite and funny picture is when Frankie is wearing a bumper sticker on her wheels. A sad part was when Frankie’s friend Daniel died on Friday. Isn’t that sad? I would be sad if my grandma died. I liked this book because I like all the pretty and nice pictures. If I saw Frankie I would go pet her! My favorite part was when they visited Libby’s House. She is my favorite dog in the whole wide world. I like this book because she is a therapy dog and makes people feel good. I liked “Frankie the Walk ‘n Roll Dog” as much as this book. I wish I could see Frankie in real life. Frankie is so cute I can’ believe my eyes!

We both recommend “Frankie the Walk 'n Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House” by Barbara Gail Techel. This book is great, including the cover!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Virtual Visit with Bicentennial Elementary School First Graders

So here's how it works on my end:  Mom sets her laptop on a TV tray in front of her desk.  She clears her desk to make room for me and my wheel's.  Just as we call in for the virtual visit call with school, she sets me on top of the desk in my wheels!  Ok, so how many dogs can say they get to stand on top of a desk?  Arf!
It works so cool!  So kids around the world can see me and I never leave the comfort of my home... and when we are done with our presentation, teaching kids all sorts of good stuff about overcoming challenges, my mom takes me out of my wheels and let's me rest in my periwinkle bed in front of the fireplace.  It's a dog's life and I love it.

Read all about our special day with Mr. Wade and his first grade class at Bicentennial School in eastern Canada.  Who's Your Dachshund blogger, Ben was in Mr. Wade's room as this fun hour unfolded.  He titled his post, "Therapy Dog Gone Digital" and I thought that was so dog-gone catchy!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Video Footage of Frankie and Sparkles Historic Day!

Sparkles and I had one of the best days ever in dog history when we were able to meet because of the help of Skype... we were tail-waggin excited to share our messages of never giving up hope, overcoming challenges and fire safety with all of the kids from Clarksville Primary School in Arkansas.  Teachers, kids and even the principal just loved it!  Arf-a-roo!!



Saturday, February 20, 2010

Frankie and Sparkles Make History!

It is a day I will never forget!  Read the full press release below... and be sure to check out my new blog with Sparkles... Frankie and Sparkles for upcoming, fun projects we two canine friends will be doing together!

Canine Friends Visit via Skype to Make History

Author Barbara Techel and her paralyzed dog, Frankie, along with Author Firefighter Dayna Hilton and her dog, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, came together today via the internet to educate children about disabilities and fire safety.

Clarksville, AR- Two educators of the four-legged variety from different parts of the country, came together today to share fire safety with the children of Clarksville Primary School.

The first presentation of its kind in the country, Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog from Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog from Clarksville, Arkansas, along with a little support from their human friends, children's authors, Barbara Techel and Firefighter Dayna Hilton, participated in this historic event. The four participated in a Skype visit, sharing the importance of fire safety and encouraging children who may have family or friends with physical challenges to help them have a plan, among other fire safety messages, so they and their families and friends can help stay safe from fire.

500 plus children sat glued to their seats as they listened intently as Frankie and Barbara shared their story of inspiration and hope. The students clapped and cheered loudly when Frankie and Sparkles met virtually for the first time. Kathy Howell, library media specialist for the school, was not sure initially how the visit via Skype would go as the school had never participated in one before. Excited about the end result, Howell stated, “The presentation was tremendous, and the excitement from the children continued throughout the day.”

“It was cool watching Frankie and Sparkles make history,” said one six year old student.

With the help of their new four-legged friends, Frankie and Sparkles, the children of Clarksville Primary School now have the tools necessary to stay safe, be positive, and keep on rolling.

# # #

History of Frankie and Sparkles’ first Skype visit:

Techel, one of the pioneers of Skype author visits, met Hilton over Facebook and the two developed a unique fire safety program for schools, with a little help from Frankie and Sparkles. The two plan to bring Sparkles and Frankie together again with their messages in future Skype visits, so more children across the country will benefit.

About Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog:

Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog, is a dachshund who suffered a debilitating spinal injury and now walks with the aid of a doggie wheelchair. For the past two years, Frankie has been helping children of all ages realize that their challenges can be overcome by having a positive attitude, and despite these challenges, they can be a contributing member of society in their own unique way. Frankie is the mascot for National Disabled Pets Day and is the 2009 Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame Companion Dog. Frankie’s motto is, “Always be positive, make a difference, and keep on rolling!”

About Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog:

Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog, a Dalmatian who was rescued from a home with 62 other dogs, travels across the country with Firefighter Dayna educating children and their caregivers about fire safety. Sparkles has helped deliver fire safety tips on PBS KIDS Sprout, reaching millions of children and their caregivers nationwide. To date, Sparkles has been credited with helping save the lives of two children and their two families.

To learn more about Frankie and Sparkles and their upcoming projects, please visit their website at www.frankieandsparkles.com

# # #


Friday, February 19, 2010

Sparkles the Fire Saftey Dog & Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog

Frankie's mom here, as Frankie is taking a nap from the very exciting and busy week we have had!!!

What a week it has been! Thanks to Facebook, Frankie and I have had the opportunity to come to know Dayna Hilton and her dog, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog. The beautiful things is, Dayna and I have so much in common and have many of the same dreams and goals. But the best part is it is because of our love of dogs that we are living the life of our dreams and making a difference in our communities. Over the past few weeks, Dayna, Sparkles, Frankie and I have been working on a wonderful project. The time will soon come when we will share some exciting news... to watch for this project be sure to follow along on Frankie and Sparkles blog that they have come together to create.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Great Advice from Quadraplegic & Comedian Jack Rushton

You see everyone... we can all look at our challenges in a positive way... take a moment to watch and listen to Jack... he is dog-gone inspiring!!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jack Hanna Visits Disabled Animal Sanctuary- Video Now On-line

My mom and I have a special place in our hearts for Rolling Dog Ranch.  Steve and Alyane take in all the animals that no one wants- as Steve says, "Don't take pity on these animals.  They just want to get on with life."  I can vouch for that!  This is a very heartwarming video and I hope you will watch it.



Monday, February 15, 2010

Exclusive! Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog Pins!

This is sooooo dog-gone exciting!  Artist Brianna Lennox of Silly Dog Magnets has created her first exclusive which is a Frankie pin... inspired after me, the walk 'n roll dog!  I'm so proud.

Fun for your jacket, t-shirt, hat, backpack, or anywhere you want a giggle!  We now have them on our website, so check them out!

We are now also carrying the Dachshund Wheelchair Magnets which you can find on our website as well.



Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tinkerbelle, National Dog Day Mascot Passes Away

My little friend, Tinkerbelle, died on Feb. 11th, 2010.  She was nestled in between her mommy and daddy as she took her last breath.  Little Tinkerbelle, known as Tink to her family, had brain cancer.  Her family did all they could for her. 

In loving memory of Tink and hoping to help other pets with brain cancer Tinkerbelle's Fairy Dust Fund has been set up to support medical costs and finding a cure.

Thank you, Tink for all the great things you did for dog lovers, the elderly, and sick and challenged children.  Your love will live on in all the hearts you touched.


Friday, February 12, 2010

In Memory of Sebastian the Handicapped Duck

Such a beautiful video tribute to Sebastian... what a positive, amazing difference you made in the world.  Thank you, Sebastian... and to your mommy for loving you... I have to go now and comfort my mommy cause she is so sad after watching your video...



Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Launch & Book Signing at Libby's House- Senior Assisted Living

Mark you calendars!  Libby's House, where Frankie is resident therapy dog and where her new book takes place is sponsoring the official launch of our newest book!

When:  Sunday, February 28, 2010
Time:  1:00pm-3:00pm
Where:  Libby's house East, 2683 Valley Road, Plymouth, WI  53073
For more information:  Contact Tracy Cinealis, Senior Living Specialist 920-946-8730 or Barbara Techel, Author 920-377-1749

Most of the residents residing at Libby's house have Alzheimer's disease or dementia.  We will be donating 30% of all book sales during this event to the Alzheimer's Association.

We hope you can join us!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog

Don't you just love making new friends?  Well, I happen to have a new friend named Sparkles.  She has lots of black spots, a leathery black nose, and black eyes and all her spots sit upon a blanket of soft white fur.  You might have guessed it by now, and yes, she is a Dalmation.  Even better she has her own book... even better yet she a Fire Safey Dog and she teaches kids how to be safe and that is what her book is all about!  It is way cool!

Staying safe if there is a fire in your house is really important.  You will learn all of this very easily with the lessons that Sparkles and her Firefigher Mom, Dayna Hilton teach you in their wonderful book, Sparkles the Saftey Dog.

Th pictures are so endearing and you will fall in love with Sparkles and won't even realize you are learning about staying safe.  Sparkles makes if so fun...especially when she shows you how she crawls under the smoke, and as her mom says, "how to get low and go."

Sparkles and Dayna with one of the little girls they saved after having been to her school teaching fire safety.  She had a fire in her home and woke her Dad to get out safely.

This is a must have book for every household for children to understand in a friendly way how to be ready if there is a fire.  With Sparkles as their guide they will not fear a fire, but be prepared and ready to act.

Get a FREE coloring page of Sparkles the Safety Dog by clicking here.

Get an autographed copy and CD version of the book on Sparkles website.  Or you can order via Amazon also.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dixie the Tiny Dog


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Frankie Inspires Wheelie Magnets from Silly Dog Magnets

Have I got some hot-diggity pawsome news for you!!  Brianna Lenox is a way cool artist who happens to love dogs... AND she really loves dachshunds and her best pal is, yup, you guessed it, a doxie named Chris P. Critter (is that cute, or what?).

Brianna, along with Chris P. Critter as her main inspiration, and right paw partner, started their own fun business called, Silly Dog Magnets.  Mom and I first heard about them on Who's Your Dachshund (dare I say our favorite doxie blog?) where her doxie magnets were featured.

After mom saw them she got so excited I couldn't contain her!  She was madly typing on the keyboard.. .and before I knew it she was hootin' and hollerin!  I perked my ears to say, "Hey Mom, what's going on?" 

"Oh Frankie", she said.  "You'll never believe this!" 

I wanted to say, "Try me," but patiently awaited her answer.

"Brianna from Silly Dog Magnets liked my idea to make magnets with doggie wheelchairs on them!" 

So, that is the exciting news, as you see in the photo above!!  These magnets are inspired after me!  Isn't that way cool?  We will have them available on our website in the near future, but if you just have to have a set right now, we say head on over to Brianna's Etsy sight and get yourself a set!


Monday, February 1, 2010

February Pet Holidays

Let's celebrate! February is pet dental health. At least three times a week Mom brushes my teeth. Oooo, feels soooo good!  Here are more pet holidays for the month:

• Pet Dental Health Month
• Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month
• National Bird Feeding Month
• Responsible Pet Owners Month
• Groundhog Day, Feb. 2
• Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week, Feb. 8-14
• Pet Theft Awareness Day, Feb. 14
• Spay Day USA, Feb. 23
• National Dog Biscuit Day, Feb. 23