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.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Special Need Pet Feature(s): Batty and Opi

What is your pets name?
(named such because she is blind as a bat)

How old is your pet?
8 months (born around June 2010)

Where did you get your pet?
We live on a remote Greek island and Dutch tourists found her at their hotel the day before they were flying back home. The owner didn't want such an unsightly thing around his hotel and was glad when they left with the kitty in a cardboard box. They showed up with her at our volunteer clinic. Back then she had a fungal infection on her skin and much of her fur coat was missing. We could tell she was not able to see. (My husband Alf and I end up with most of the dumped kitties on our island. There is no animal shelter here. Also no vet. )

What is your pets physical challenge?
The fungus was cleared. She's blind in both eyes (due to early cat cold)

What is your pets favorite thing to do?
Batty loves chasing a jingle bell on a string back and forth across the kitchen floor and she can do it until my arm hurts. She enjoys sitting on my shoulder/back of my neck when I'm at the computer. She often sleeps that way. She's very verbal, so I'm aware if she's awake or not! We have three dogs and 24 cats in our family and Batty has a few kitty friends she can cuddle with on a chair and all the dogs adore her and lick her. Her dog friendships formed immediately, but the cat friendships take a little longer.

What is your pets favorite thing to eat?
Kitty food beef or rabbit.

What do you love most about your pet?
She spends more time near her humans, sitting on our laps or on the back of my neck, than most of our other critters.

What has your pet most taught you?
Because my husband's sister Martina, who is a veterinarian in Germany, has two blind cats I knew before meeting Batty how blind cats navigate a room - walking close to the wall. Before Batty, I'd never been around completely blind animals, so this has been a learning experience for me.
Anything else you’d like to share?

If you'd like to link to my husband's recent video of Batty playing in our garden and courtyard, you're welcome to do so.

We have a few pets (cats and a dog, Opi) with one eye functional, so I've been introduced to blindness. I have a great interest in the general subject of disabilities in pets and am proud to be a contributing author to Almost Perfect: Disabled Pets and the People Who Love Them (http://www.wordforgebooks.com/almostperfect/index.html).

Note:  Roberta, Batty and Opi's Mom, writes for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer if you'd like to read her stories.

To read about Opi, you can visit his story on Best Friends Network.

Thank you for sharing Batty and Opi with us!  So glad they have you, Roberta to take care of them.
***If you care for a special needs pet and would like your pet featured, please email me through my website contact. Send a photo and I will forward the questionnaire for your pet to be featured in an upcoming post.***


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