About Me

My photo
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.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Frankie's Story Featured in "Every Dog Has a Gift" published by Penguin/Tarcher Publishing

This little wiener dog is full of much excitement and happiness to share this news with you!! 

My story, "Frankie: Keep on Rolling!" is featured on pages 154-161 of Every Dog Has a Gift, true stories of dogs who bring hope and healing into our lives.  Rachel Mcpherson, Founder and Executive Director of The Good Dog Foundation, along with Deborah Mitchell share stories of some incredbile dogs. 

What I especially love about Rachel is what she said in her introduction: "I want to emphasize my firm belief that each and every dog is a therapy dog.  That's not to say that every dog has gone through a specially designed training program so he or she can behave approprately in a clinical setting.  I'm saying that all dogs inherently have the power to heal, and they all want to give love and be loved in return, even those who appear to act frightened or vicious.  And what better therapy is there than love?" 

Arf-a-roo, Rachel- you are so right on!!  Lots of love and kisses to you for that wonderful way of sharing what we dogs so naturally do.

This short (and long) dog is so humbled to be a part of Every Dog Has a Gift.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Good Dog Foundation so that it may continue to educate others on the many benefits of assisted animal therapy.  Now that is a good thing!

I would like to personally thank Deborah Mitchell for listening so intently to my mom as she told my story to her-- your writing of my story had my mom weeping buckets of tears.

So do check out the book-- what an amazing gift of all your dog loving friends... and be sure to tell all your dog loving friends too.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Media Release from Frankie and Sparkles' Big Adventure 2010

Just wanted to share the press release our Frankie and Sparkles' Big Adventure 2010. Since our last blog post, our moms have found out that Frankie and I will be skyping to a school in Canada while Firefighter Dayna and Sparkles' are in Wisconsin. How cool is that? My mom and I, and Firefighter Dayna and Sparkles will be skyping across the border and we couldn't be more excited! Be sure to follow our blog to follow our big adventure!


Two Dogs Rollin’: Frankie and Sparkles Big Adventure 2010
Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog Shows Local School Children How To Get Low and Go and
Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog Encourages School Children to Help those with Special Needs

Friday, April 9th, 2010 10:30am and 1:00pm

WHO: Sparkles, a fire safety savvy Dalmatian resplendent in her red service vest along with her human mom, educator and volunteer firefighter Dayna Hilton.
Frankie, an exuberant disabled dachshund outfitted with special harness to help her walk along with her human mom, author and educator, Barbara Techel.
Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah Elementary School
Western Canada Elementary School

WHAT: History in the making! After meeting on Facebook and Skype this past year, Sparkles and Dayna travel from Arkansas to meet Barbara and Frankie at their home in Wisconsin. They are coming together for this first time ever event to help children stay safe in case of a fire, and to encourage children to be of service by helping those with special needs. They will first present in person (and dog!) to elementary students at Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah Elementary School. They will sign books and pose for photos. They will then present via webcam and the technology of Skype from Barbara’s home in Elkhart Lake to Karen Keys, teacher librarian, and students from a elementary school in western Canada.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. and 1:00pm, April 9th, 2010

WHERE: Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah Elementary School at 10:30am followed by 1:00pm presentation via Skype from Barbara and Frankie’s home in Elkhart Lake.

WHY: As children follow the adventures of Sparkles, they learn valuable fire safety tips enabling them and their families to keep safe. These tips include recognizing the firefighter as a helper and friend, knowing the sound and purpose of a smoke alarm, learning how to crawl low under smoke, and understanding the importance of practicing a home fire drill using an escape map. Also as children follow the adventures of Frankie, they learn how to be positive when faced with any challenge. They learn despite a challenge they can be of service and help out in their communities. Along with Sparkles, Frankie will encourage children to be aware of those with special needs in the event of a fire to help them stay safe as well.

VISUALS: Sparkles, Dayna, Frankie, and Barbara will show:

· How Sparkles teaches children to get low and go in case of a fire
· How to get low and go to your outside meeting place
· Knowing the sound and importance of smoke alarms
· The importance of being of service and helping those with physical challenges stay safe.
· Sparkles and Dayna’s book “Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog.”
· Frankie and Barbara’s “Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog” book series.

OTHER: Both dogs love children, educating them on fire safety and being of service and going to work, while both mom’s of these special dogs are grateful for the opportunities their dogs have brought them and are passionate in helping and encouraging children of all ages. For more information please visit their blog http://www.frankieandsparkles.com/


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teachers & Students love Skype Visits with Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog

What fun my mom and I are having sharing our message of hope and inspiration and meeting so many different teachers and students around the world, and all with the help of the Internet.
We have used Skype, but also worked with video conferencing that schools have in-house.  It is a dog-gone amazing way to meet wonderful kids from all over the US and Canada.  You inspire US!
Check out below what teachers are saying about the experience!  If you would like more information please visit our special teacher section on our website.  We would love to meet you and your students virtually!

Students at my school in Canada used Skype to connect via the Internet with Barbara and Frankie who live in Wisconsin. The students were so excited and amazed at the experience. It seemed as if Frankie and Barbara were sitting right in their classroom!

The students were able to interact with Frankie and Barbara. They asked many thought provoking questions. They learned a lot about animals with disabilities and how to stay positive no matter what challenges they might face. The Skype has been their favorite part of the school year! ~Karen Keys, Teacher Librarian Canada

I was apprehensive about the vist, but it was tremendous. I wondered if 500+ children would be able to attend to the screen and realize they were having a conversation with an author. You did it! They stayed on task for the entire visit. The variety of activity--your talking, the Powerpoint, the video and Frankie's presence all worked together to keep them engaged. Thank you-- you made me look good! ~Kathy Howell, library media specialist, Clarksville Primary School, Arkansas

The students had such a great time during their webcam visit with Mrs. Techel and Frankie. They were even more inspiring in person. Mrs. Techel had Frankie right there with her during our web cam visit. Frankie even fell asleep on her desk. She showed the class how Frankie got in and out of her wheelchair, explained how she cared for Frankie, gave us a first hand view of her writing studio, and explained the writing process from the gathering of ideas, to the editing, and the publishing stages. ~Karen Elz, 3rd grade elementary teacher, Shiloh Point Elementary School, Georgia

Through the magic of technology we were able to host Barb & Frankie for an in-class(ish) presentation via Skype. Barb was able to take the kids through the notion of overcoming challenges, making a difference in the lives of others, and facing hardship in a positive, life-changing way. They were CAPTIVATED which is a pretty big deal for six-year-olds. ~Ben Bordeau, Who's Your Dachshund blogger and Jason Wade, 1st grade teacher, Bicentennial School, Canada

Monday, March 22, 2010

Theray Dog Reading Program Incorporates Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog Book Series

Arf-a-roo!  My friend, who happens to be a King Charles spaniel named Preston and he is a registered therapy dog just like me!  But he does something really special with children... he sits quietly and contently as they read to him.  He has lots of patience and never judges the kids if they make a mistake.  He loves them no matter what.  He is a wonderful little fellow.

He is so special he has a reading program named after him called, "Pages for Preston."  His mom, Julie Hauck is a third grade teacher at Longfellow Elementary school.  Each week Preston rides with Julie to school and it is Preston's special day with all the children in her classroom.

So imagine how honored I was when Preston's mom applied for a grant through Thrivent Financial and received money to purchase my books for each student in her class!  Now they read my books to my friend Preston... and he is such a good friend, he never tires of hearing my stories.

Preston and his mom sent us these very special pictures and I just had to share with you! I am so proud of all of Ms. Hauck's students and Preston!  Always be positive, make a difference, and keep on rolling (and reading!)


Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Cruise with Frankie

Before I hurt myself years ago I used to walk 2 1/2 miles with my mom every morning.  Now I get to go along with her each day and I am so hot-diggity dog happy!  She bought me this slick doggie stroller and I cruise along checking all the birds and bunnies we see on our early morning walks.  And mom loves the extra work out pushing me in the stroller!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Life-Saving Important Message from Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog!

Thank you my good friend, Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog for reminding all of us that with Daylight Savings Time we need to change the batteries on our smoke alarms!!  And a reminder if you know of someone with special needs who may need help changing their batteries, please lend a helping hand.  It's a good thing... and it will make your heart feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Guaranteed!


Animals as Spiritual Teachers

So as a dog, I know all the wonderful things I have taught my mom and papa.  Woof!  And my mom loves all she has learned from me, and continues to learn... so wanted to let you know of a special show she is doing with another author, Ingrid King, who wrote a book about her special kitty Buckley.  It will be a tail waggin' good show, so be sure to tune in!!  Details below...

Author, Transformation Coach and Spiritual Marketing Coach Lynn Serafinn hosts Barbara Techel and Ingrid King, two authors who have written books on the amazing power of animals. Barbara is the author of the multi-award winning book, Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog. 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 local hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice centers, spreading joy wherever they go. Ingrid King is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer, and is author of Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. Her online magazine News for You and Your Pet goes out to subscribers around the world. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, has been called “educational cat nip for the cat lover” and is a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health and happiness for pets and their people.

This show is for anyone who is an animal lover, or who is looking for a bit of healing and inspiration. We’ll be looking at the important lessons we mere humans can learn from the inner strength, healing power, unconditional love and spiritual wisdom of our pets and the animal kingdom in general. Tune in and be prepared to have your heart melted!

Wednedsay, March 17, 2010 at 1:00pm CST/11:00am PST/2:00pm EST

Listeners can listen LIVE or "on demand" any time at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review of Frankie's Newest Book Makes it to the Big Times!

Know how to make a little dog on wheels smile?  Check out this review written by two little girls about my new book, Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby's House which made it into the big times and you will understand how this made me smile.  ARF-A-ROO, Madeline and Sophie!!  Check out their review here!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Making an Impact on a Young Writer

My mom, me, Emily (on far right) and her little sister.  We met them at Butterfly Bookstore during the reading of my new book!

My mom and I were quite humbled when we received this email from Emily's mom:

"You really have made a positive effect on Emily, she has gained so much confidence in her writing since being encouraged by you. You seem to make a positive impact on everyone you meet!"

Well, Emily made quite the impression on me and my mom- she has a very creative mind.  She shared with us how she and her friend play "ghost dogs" during their recess breaks at school.

I perked my ears in curiosity, and good thing my mom was just as curious because she said, "How do you play ghost dogs?"

Emily went on to tell us how she and her friend love dogs, but they can't bring dog toys to school, so they pretend they have dogs and make believe doing fun things with them.  We thought that was so cool!

Mom said, "You have a wonderful imagination.  You should be a writer."  That is when Emily told us she wrote a poem about a poodle!  So we asked if she would email us her poem so we could share with all of you (see below)-- We hope it inspires each of you to follow your creativity.  When you do, it makes your heart feel really good and you just might find yourself smiling all the time... just like sweet, wonderful Emily.

Thank you, Emily for sharing your delightful poem with me and my mom!  Keep up on the writing- you are on your way!!

Once I Owned Oodles of Poodles
By Emily

Once I owned oodles of poodles
I fed them noodles
Once I owed oodles of poodles
They doodled
Once I owned oodles of poodles
I went noodles
Once I owned oodles of poodles
They went noodles
So I got sheepdogs instead.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Making Friends as a Therapy Dog

Being a therapy dog I make lots of friends!  Once a month I volunteer at my local hospital.  I also volunteer once or twice a month at a local community hospice.  This is where people who are sick come to stay who have 6 months or less to live.  It is very beautiful at this hospice called Sharon S. Richardson Hospice Community.

Then once a month I visit Libby's House (this is the place my new book is all about!). Most of the residents are older- like grandma's and grandpa's.  One of my favorite residents is Lyla (not her real name).  She just turned 96 years old!

She has a hard time talking, but that's ok, I just listen and pretend I know what she is saying.  Most times I lick and lick her hand to show her I love her.  One day as I was licking her hand she said, "Kisses."  Clear as a bell!  My mom couldn't believe it!  That was the only clear word she has ever said, but we thought it was very special.  Just as special as Lyla is.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Frankie Raises Money for Alzheimer's Association with New Children's Book

It was a very special day on Sunday- no naps for me, which I usually do. But I had a very special engagement with my mom, papa and all the residents and their families at Libby's House. In case you are wondering, Libby's House is a senior assisted living facility.

Some of the residents have trouble remembering things, or sometimes even their own families. I know that is sad, but to cheer them up, I visit with them once a month. They have all become dear friends. That is why my mom and I wrote my new book, Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby's House. In this very special book I tell you all about how I became a registered therapy dog through Therapy Dogs Incorporated and all the friends I make at Libby's House.

David and Tina Thill owners of Libby's House offered to host launching our new book officially out into the world. Tracy, Certified Senior Adviser, and promotional extraordinare helped in promoting the event. I was able to put my pawtograph on many books sold and donate $200 to the Alzheimer's Association. That made my heart feel all warm and fuzzy, just like when I visit with my friends at Libby's House.

We are very grateful to Libby's House for helping us launch our new book!!

My papa workin' the book table

Co-owner of Libby's House, Tina, me and my mom

Co-owner of Libby's House, Tina, me and Certified Senior Adviser, Tracy

Mom, papa and me


Monday, March 1, 2010

March Pet Holidays to Celebrate


• Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month

• National Pig Day, March 1

• What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day, March 3

• National Puppy Day, March 23