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.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Special Needs Pet Feature: Nono

There are so many caring pet parents out there who take care of special needs pets. To bring more attention to these joyful animals, and extraordinary people, this is a new feature to my blog. If you care for a special needs pet and would like your pet featured, please email my mom through her website contact. Send a photo and she will forward the questionnaire for your pet to be featured in an upcoming post.
Nonowheel (1)
What is your pets name?
How old is your pet? 
He will be 8 this May
Where did you get your pet? 
A local Breeder we found in the paper
What is your pets physical challenge?
Nono had a back injury (IVDD) and is now paralyzed.
What is your pets favorite thing to do? 
Nono loves to go for car rides, and walks in his stroller.
What is your pets favorite thing to eat? 
Nono is on a special Rx diet. His favorite treats are natural chicken jerky.
What do you love most about your pet? 
I love the way he snuggles with me when are sleeping.  Nono and I have a special connection, he touches a very special place in my heart.
What has your pet most taught you?
My dog Nono is my Hero and inspiration, he has taught me a lot. He has shown me unconditional love and taught me to be thankful for even the smallest things in life and to be happy, strong and keep pressing on no matter what life brings you. He never let his sudden paralysis slow him down and never seems to complain. He is as happy and excited about life as ever. He has accepted his life as it is and lives it the best he knows how. I try to apply this attitude to my own life every day.
Anything else you’d like to share? 
Nono's special needs have brought us closer.  I try to use his story to educate others.  Know your dogs particular health risks.  I tell every one to do your research!   Dogs deserve only the best.
4974_1154241543541_1452759822_404577_5447768_n (1)
I absolutely agree, that yes, dogs (and all animals) deserve the very best. And how lucky you are Nono to have a pet parent who loves you so much!  Thank you for stopping by today!  Keep on rolling!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Southern Paws & Tails Will Make $4.00 Donation to Rolling Dog Ranch for every One Year Subscription

Arf-a-roo!  Not only is there a glowing review of our book, Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog in the spring 2011 issue of Southern Paws and Tails, they have offered for all my fans to help our favorite charity by donating $4.00 for every one year subscription!!  And one year subscriptions are only $12.00.

We have chosen Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary to be the recepient of this generous offer.  So if you'd like to read a wonderful magazine plus help a great cause, sign up through their website http://www.southernpawsandtails.com
Mention Joyful Paws in the comment section and $4.00 will go to Rolling Dog Ranch.
Note:  Look for: "Add special instructions to the seller" and click on change and in the comment box write Joyful Paws for them to know you subscribed through this offer for the $4.00 to be donated to Rolling Dog Ranch.

Thank you Southern Paws and Tails for your hot diggity- dog wonderful offer and for sharing an exceptional review of Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog's story with your readers.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cute Miniature Horse Gets a False Leg

Hot-diggity dog!  I get all tingly when I hear stories like this.  Midnite a mini horse born with only a partial back leg now has a prosthetic and will most likely live a long and happy life- isn't that grand?  Check out the video to see him run!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dachshund Found Alive in Rubble, One Month After Fire

What a miracle story, Lola is!  Just goes to show you how tough we little doxie's are, don't you think?
Watch the video and be inspired!  We wish Lola the very best and so happy she can once again snuggle with her mom.  Oh, gotta run, my mom, after watching this video just can't stop hugging me!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finding Frankie: Author Mary Shafer Interviews Author Barbara Techel

When Mary Shafer, freelance writer, marketing consultant, and author of Almost Perfect, Disabled Pets and the People Who Love Them traveled from Pennsylvania and stayed with me and my mom in Wisconsin for two days, she did an impromptu interview with my mom and how she found me.  I hope you will enjoy the video as much as my mom enjoyed finding me and the journey we have been on.... and stay tuned in the future for more segments of Mary's interview with my mom where she will also talk about marketing and sharing your message/book with others.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Special Needs Pet Feature: Dixie

There are so many caring pet parents out there who take care of special needs pets. To bring more attention to these joyful animals, and extraordinary people, this is a new feature to my blog. If you care for a special needs pet and would like your pet featured, please email my mom through her website contact.  Send a photo and she will forward the questionnaire for your pet to be featured in an upcoming post.
Hope Dixie Truck 
What is your pet's name?
Dixie (her papers say Cindy's Dixie Doodle)
Owner - C. Hope Clark, owner FundsforWriters.com
How old is your pet?
Where did you get your pet?
My husband purchased her from a breeder as a surprise for me.
What is your pets physical challenge?
Dixie went blind from glaucoma. She started with migraines, and lost most vision in one eye literally overnight. We fought to save her vision in the other eye, working closely with a canine ophthalmologist, but we lost the fight. She's also 90 percent deaf, which happened within a year of her losing her sight. Cause unknown. All of this happened to her at the age of 12-13 as well as losing her life-long spaniel-mix partner that died at the age of 17. She had a string oftraumatic events happen to her in terms of a few months, especially at so late in life
She endured depression for several months. We made her walk around the house, however, and find her way. We had to learn how to keep the furniture in its place and keep things picked up from the floor, like shoes and such, or she'd trip over them. She learned to follow the walls and maneuver around the house in a very short time. She can still go up steps, but of course will not go down. But she adapted well. We have a bed in three rooms so she can find a familiar place to rest. She'll patrol the house sometimes, just checking out where people are. She might be slow, but she's steady. She has slowed more this year, and her favorite spot is on the sofa "watching" movies with my husband who has been known to  talk to her about the quality of cable television.
What is your pets favorite thing to do?
She has found her voice back, and we are delighted. She's learned to bark since she cannot always find her way to the kitchen fast enough to suit her, and cannot find her way fast enough to the door to ask to go out. When it's dinner time, she barks in the kitchen. When it's time to get out of bed, she barks. When she is thirsty, she barks. She might not be able to see or hear, but she can sure communicate when it's time to eat, drink, wake up or go outside. She's regained some life.
What is your pets favorite thing to eat?
Venison and rice. She has lost all but 5-6 teeth now. Since she has some food allergies, we struggled years ago finding what she could eat. My husband fills the freezer with venison each fall, and he's created a veterinarian-approved recipe we call rice-a-deer. The minute we start browning the meat, Dixie comes alive, barking until it's done and a sample put in her bowl. She loves it best when it's fresh cooked.
What do you love most about your pet?
She's a cuddler in the bed and still loves to ride in the car. She may not see, but she can stick her nose to a vent and imagine what's outside. She travels frequently with us. Just this past year she visited family for Christmas, the beach, an apple orchard, a pumpkin patch, along with numerous trips around town.
What has your pet most taught you?
Patience. She's also taught me to appreciate life and health, because it can change overnight when you least expect it.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Animals with disabilities can give love back to owners as much as and even more so than healthy animals. They adapt and turn lemon into lemonades better than most human beings.  We can learn from their positive outlook.
Personally, I just wish she could still see her squirrels and ducks outside. I had a window box built in my study with steps, so she could jump up and watch the wildlife around the lake. I'm a freelance writer, and she used to sit in my lap, sleep at my feet or sun on the window seat - my steady companion as I worked hard. Today she's happier in her bed or on the sofa, sleeping most of the time as she relaxes in the senior season of her life. But we have memories as I'm sure she does, too. And now, she's earned the spoiled pampering she receives.
Hope Beach Dixie
Thank you, Hope for sharing your beloved Dixie with us.  My mom really appreciates your honesty about wishing Dixie could see the squirrels as you know how much she loved seeing them.  My mom still has pangs of wishing I could walk on my own so she understands having those feelings.  But she also knows, like you, that she would not trade one moment with me.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Doxie Bath Time Can Be Beautiful

I love bath time!  Mom and I have special bonding time when she puts me in the bathtub or sink and lathers me up with lots of soapy suds.  I love to watch the bubbles swish and swirl down the drain.
Watch as this little puppy doxie discovers bath time and how loving and sweet it is to bond with his human.
Thank you to Life with Dogs for posting this on their blog!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog Skype's with Siren the Fire Safety Dog & Tango

Skyping, and sharing my positive message with classrooms across the US and Canada is one of my favorite things to do-- so imagine how excited I was to team up with Siren the Fire Safety Dog and his brother and talk with Ms. Karen's class in Canada!  We set it up a group Skype call as a Q & A session and the kids had great questions for all us techie dogs.
One of the students, Becca, was the photographer and got some great photos from the point of them seeing all of us on the screen in their classroom.

A special thank you to Becca for your great photography and Ms. Karen for inviting us into her classroom, as well as Siren and Tango's Mom for setting up the group Skype call.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Promise of Spring is in the Air

Mom took me out in my stroller today for our first walk of the spring season! Wow- that felt great- all the fresh smells wafting up my nostrils. So good in fact, I pooped the minute mom got me home and through the front door. Oh dear. Good news is she still loves me even though I pooped on the kitchen floor. Good Mom, Mom. Good Mom.... and yes indeed, the promise of spring IS in the air!  ARF-A-ROO!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Special Needs Pet Feature: Charlotte

There are so many caring pet parents out there who take care of special needs pets. To bring more attention to these joyful animals, and extraordinary people, this is a new feature to my blog. If you care for a special needs pet and would like your pet featured, please email my mom through her website contact.  Send a photo and she will forward the questionnaire for your pet to be featured in an upcoming post.

What is your pets name?


How old is your pet?

She was one month away from 13 on the day she passed away.

Where did you get your pet?

From a local breeder. She was my high school graduation gift. The last words out of the breeder's mouth were, "None of my dogs have ever had back problems."

What is your pets physical challenge?

She slipped two disks in her back and lost control of her back legs.

What is your pets favorite thing to do?

She loved to play hide and seek with my dad and go on walks with my mom. Trips to Granny's were a special treat. She also loved to go to PetSmart. One time, my mom and I took her to pick out a new toy. As we were walking by the guinea pigs she stopped dead in her tracks. "Whoa, what are these," was the look on her face. Then she looked back at my mom as if to say, "Mom, can I get one?" And my mom replied, "No, Charlotte, you can't have a guinea pig today." People all around us laughed.

What is your pets favorite thing to eat?

Whenever my mom would grate cheese, Charlotte would come running. Mom only gave her a tiny bit but she LOVED it.

What do you love most about your pet?

She was my best friend. I could tell her anything.


What has your pet most taught you?

She really had a "I'm so happy to be alive." attitude. More people should live that way.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Charlotte brought joy to many people. The vet would ask to have her for the day, and they would use her to educate people that pets with special needs can be happy too. One time, I had her out, and a man looked down at her then said to me, "I feel so bad for her. That's so sad." I told him don't feel sorry for her. She was very happy and I'd still put my money on her to chase cats and birds out of the yard. Her disability didn't define her, it just became a part of her. We all adapted and life was good.

Such a beautiful tribute to Charlotte!  I couldn't agree more that yes, we adapt, and life is good.  Frankie has absolutely taught me that too.  Thank you for sharing Charlotte with us!



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Skype Classroom Visit with 4th Graders from Spring Valley, NY

Skype Classroom Visit with 4th Graders from New York

Getting reactions back from children that my author Mom (Barbara Techel) and I meet via Skype (and in-person) is one of th most rewarding things about what we do. My heart flutters really fast when I hear back from kids... it is so priceless!  Tuesday we did a Skype call with a Mrs. Gershenoff''s 4th grade class at Hempstead Elementary School in Spring Valley, NY.  They are studying nonfiction books and writing books of their own as part of their studies.  Their teacher sent some of their reactions to us connecting with them via Skype which they put in their writer's notebook.
Skype visit with NY 4th graders
Photo taken by Mrs. Gershenoff from the view of the classroom while talking to me and Frankie on Skype!
By: Jonathan
Oh my gosh!  It was so cool!  This was my first time that I really saw an author.  My heart was beating so fast. I had butterflies in my stomach when I asked my question.  I didn’t know when we read the book that she was going to actually Skype with us.  I was so excited!  My brother is going to be jealous that I met and author.  So are my friends.
By: Christy
Skyping with Barbara Techel was amazing! We even got to see Frankie!  She was so cute.  Barbara even woke her up from her beauty sleep to  show her to us. She answered all of our questions.  She even said she would talk about us on TV, but only if she got back on TV.  Maybe if Mrs. Gershenoff gives me her email and Skype I can Skype her too.
By: Adelle
I really liked when the author showed us Frankie.  I would like to do it again! It was sooo cute Skyping with a real author.  I really wish Frankie and Mrs. Techel would visit us in person.  I also wish we had more time together on Skype.
By: Ryan
It was so overwhelming to see a real life character from a book!  I would love to do this again!
By: Lewis
OMG! Meeting Barbara Techel and Frankie was soooo exciting!  I was ready to hog the computer and talk to Barbara all day and not give the others a turn.
This is what they posted on their classroom website as well:
3.09.11 Wow!  Today we had an amazing experience!  We Skyped with an Award Winning Author, Barbara Techel, author of Frankie the Walk 'n Roll Dog.  She taught us about writing our own nonfiction stories and gave us tips on what to do if we get stuck on writing a part of our story.  She also shared some of her own personal feelings and life events about her dog Frankie and her challenges.  Be sure to ask your child all about this incredible activity! Also, check out our class blog where we posted about the book.  We even received a blog post from Barbara Techel! I have also sent home a flier if you are intersted in purchasing an autographed copy of one of Ms. Techel's books.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Is it Spring Yet?

Loved this from Outside Doggies blog and I couldn't agree more!!

Enough of the snow, I am ready for summer and hot dogs.


The Dachshund Song

Today on a Skype group call with Siren the Fire Safety Dog and Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog, Ms. Karen's 5th grade class asked us lots of questions about our special dogs!  One of the question to Frankie was:  "What's Frankie's favorite song?"  So here it is Ms. Karen's class!  The Dachshund Song!  Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to Use Skype in the Classroom

As a dog (and my author Mom, Barbara Techel) who love to Skype with kids across the US And Canada I wanted to share this helpful article on all the different ways you can use Skype in the classroom.  Ain't technology grand?
If you'd like to Skype with me check out my website teacher page for a free ebook on planning a Skype visit!
Getting ready for a Skype call!

Article reprint from Smart Schools, Smart Tools:

Skype is a free and easy way for teachers to enrich their classrooms and students with a world beyond their campuses. Skype allows students to learn from other students and cultures and expand their knowledge in different ways.
One such project can be talking to museum curators and science experts via Skype. Student works can be posted on student blogs for experts to comment on the work.
Using Skype, students can receive encouragement from peers and teachers from all over the world. They can collaborate, share resources, plan and track the progress of the project with other schools as well.
Below are some ideas to teach students in the most dynamic ways:
  1. See Me, Hear Me: Skype in the Classroom. Students with the opportunity to chat with a book author via Skype.
  2. Videoconferencing in the Classroom with Skype. A teacher who used the movie “Hoop Dreams” to teach about social equality. The movie’s executive producer participated in a Skype session with students.
  3. Field trips. For students who are not able to participate in a field trip, they can use Skype to bring the field trip into the classroom.
  4. Using Skype in the languages classroom.Help students study foreign languages from native speakers.
  5. After school help. Help students needing extra attention after school.
  6. Interviews. Students can interview other teachers or students, sending the Skype feed to the classroom for all to watch.
  7. Guest lecturers. Have guest lecturers come to your classroom via Skype.
  8. Connect special needs students. Students who cannot attend class because of special needs won’t need to miss special events in the classroom with Skype.
  9. Foreign culture lessons. Allows students to see first-hand what people’s homes, schools, clothing, weather, and more looks like. If a festival takes place, Skype can bring it to the classroom too.
  10. Connect with families from around the world.
  11. Present a performance. Put on a play, or demonstrate a science experiment. Share the fruits of students’ works with Skype.
  12. Professional development. Teachers can use Skype for conference presentations.
  13. Innovative teacher uses Skype and Wikis to involve parents. An example of a teacher who helped share information using Skype and the PBS program called “Growing Up Online.”
  14. Receive teaching feedback. Ask an experienced or mentor teacher to give you feedback via Skype.
  15. Skype in the Classroom. Offers help on how to set up Skype, tips on finding other teachers on Skype and technical objects.
  16. Skype Tutorials for Teachers, Authors, Librarians. >Find a handful of video and text tutorials here to get started with Skype.
  17. Classroom Collaboration with Skype. This is a primer that offers help using Skype, and using it in the classroom.
  18. Using skype in the classroom. A teacher describes using Skype and how to best prepare for class using Skype as a great educational opportunity.
“50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom.” Retrieved December 3, 2010 fromhttp://www.teachingdegree.org/2009/06/30/50-awesome-ways-to-use-skype-in-the-classroom/
Stephenson, Neil. “The Many Roles of Skype in the Classroom.” Retrieved December 3, 2010from http://www.iste.org/connect/iste-connects/blog-detail/09-02-15/The_Many_Roles_of_Skype_in_the_Classroom.aspx


Monday, March 7, 2011

Special Needs Pet Feature: Willie

There are so many caring pet parents out there who take care of special needs pets. To bring more attention to these joyful animals, and extraordinary people, this is a new feature to my blog. If you care for a special needs pet and would like your pet featured, please email my mom through her website contact.  Send a photo and she will forward the questionnaire for your pet to be featured in an upcoming post.
What is your pets name? 
Willie Kanieski
How old is your pet?
About 7 years old     
Where did you get your pet? 
He’s a rescue dog we adopted from the DRNA (Dachshund Rescue of North America)
What is your pets physical challenge? 
He is almost entirely blind – he seems to sense movement but that’s it (he even walks into walls now, poor thing)
What is your pets favorite thing to do? 
Napping in the Big Bed is by far his favorite pastime.  He also loves to watch the tv show Simon & Simon with his Auntie Debbie.  He dances around when he hears the theme song on the television & happily snuggles up next to her for an hour. 
What is your pets favorite thing to eat?
He loves carrots & cottage cheese for treats.  In summer, he loves fresh green beans, too.  Quite a healthy little guy!
What do you love most about your pet? 
I love everything about Willie.  He’s my best friend, my protector, my walking partner & my snuggle-dog.  He’s the snuggliest little guy around!
What has your pet most taught you? 
My pet has taught me that I have more patience than I thought.  I put his needs before mine – if he needs to go outside at 3 am in a blizzard, I’m more than happy to go out with him.  He’s also taught me unconditional love more than I thought possible.  He’s just always happy to see me, which makes me appreciate those in my life more, by applying that same principle to my loved ones, in addition to him!
Anything else you’d like to share? 
Willie is an amazing little guy that was abused quite badly & kept outside in a small cage with a Rottweiler before we got him.  He didn’t get to eat everyday & from the sounds of it, never got snuggles.  I am so glad he was brought into our lives and taught us to forget the bad of the past…he’s adapted so well to everything and is so affectionate and snuggly.  I couldn’t ask for a better friend!

My mom and I had the pleasure of meeting Willie, his Mom, Jenny and his Aunt Deb last summer.  Willie and I hit it off well!  We would like to ask you, our readers, to please keep Willie's Aunt Deb in your prayers as she is fighting cancer right now.  We believe in the power of prayer and hope, so please keep her in your prayers.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wiener Dog Riding a Skateboard


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Skype with Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog

Calling all teachers and librarians who use Skype!
Do you want to inspire your kids to be the best they can be?
Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog shares her true, inspiring story via Skype and classrooms are loving when she visits!  As you can see by the two photos below it is almost like Frankie is right there in-person (err dog!) for the kids to see her.  She hangs out on her author Mom, Barbara Techel's desk while Barbara tells the children all about Frankie.  
Our 30-minute program includes introduction of Frankie, PowerPoint with lots of fun photos, demonstration of how Frankie uses her wheelchair, and Q & A. For classrooms of 30 or less the program is very interactive with Barbara asking questions of the kids as she does the presentation, as well as the kids being able to learn about technology by approaching the webcam to ask their questions.

What other teachers are saying:

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

Our visit with you and Frankie was fabulous!  The children couldn't stop talking about it.  Not only did you make Frankie's story come alive for these students, you were able to make writing more real.  Not one of these students have ever met an author, much less had a visit with one.  I believe they received your message and also came away with a better understanding of what writing really is. ~Susan Ownens, special education teacher, Cheatham Park Elementary, Springfield, TN

For more information on inviting Frankie to Skype with your classroom visit our website and download a free copy of our ebook on helping plan a Skype visit.
We have some openings for April and May so be sure to contact us today if you are interested!