- 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.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Special Needs Pet Feature: Gus
What is your pet's name?
How old is your pet?
Where did you get your pet?
I was there the day he was born. Friends of mine had both of the parents on their ranch. The sire was a papered heeler and the bitch was not but she was a heeler as well. So I call Gus a pure-bred but not well-bred heeler. All my animals are rescues so I don’t care whether he is a pure-bred or not. The dogs were bred for herding purposes but he was really shy and only liked me so I was the lucky one to get him.
What is your pet's physical challenge?
He went blind at age 11 from cataracts so I had surgery done on one eye which brought his sight back. Then two years later when he was 13 he got glaucoma in his good eye and went blind again. There wasn’t anything further we could do surgically due to his age so we control pain management with four eye drops twice a day.
What is your pet's favorite thing to do?
Hang out with me; go to the park and car rides. He would play tennis ball for hours until he went blind.
What is your pet's favorite thing to eat?
He loves his premium dog food and biscuit snacks and the occasional meat scraps. Of course, we would eat most anything tasty if I would let him.
What do you love most about your pet?
He is loyal and smart and has put all his trust in me since he went blind. He never questions my voice commands and will even step off a curb without hesitation when we are walking. He has no idea whether it’s a 100 foot drop or just a few inches. He doesn’t fear the unknown because he trusts me so much. I am his “seeing-eye person”.
What has your pet most taught you?
Anything else you’d like to share?
I cherish every day that I have with Gus because at 14 I know I probably don’t have a lot of time left with him. I love the breed and will go to a local heeler rescue organization to adopt when Gus crosses the rainbow bridge.
***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.***
A Message from Frankie's Mom on Why We Feature Special Needs Pets
My life changed for the better and my heart grew ten times it size when my dog, Frankie ruptured a disk and ended up in a doggie wheelchair. That may sound odd, but it lead me to a calling that has brought me so much joy.
I love being an advocate for pets with special neeeds educating others that disabled pets are just as lovable as any other pet. I also feel so blessed to help kids of all ages see their challenges in a positive way through Frankie's example. Frankie is an incredbile gift not only in my life, but she has helped thousands of children through the book series about her, as well as the visits we do to schools in WI and schools across the US and Canada via Skype.
Sharing other pets with special needs expands on the message that all animals deserve a chance. Sharing these pets helps to spread a positive message and every time I meet a new special needs pet I feel my heart grow even bigger. I hope it does the same for you and you pass on the love.
Learn more about Barbara and her love of special needs pets
Learn more about Barbara's special needs pet, Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog