- 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 4, 2011
Special Needs Pet Feature: O'Bannon Phillip
What is your pet's name?
How old is your pet?
Where did you get your pet?
Animal Friends, Pittsburgh, PA
What is your pet's physical challenge?
O’Bannon has a hearing impairment from having bi lateral Total Ear Canal Ablations (TECA) performed. When we adopted him they told us he was basically deaf. We have learned that he has more “selective” hearing than anything else. O’Bannon also suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after being rescued by Animal Friends’ Humane Officers where they found him and others in a horrific scene. Multiple Pit Bulls were caged in crates in a dark basement or tied outside with thick chains. Many showed signs of physical injury, some needing emergency surgery. All showed signs of emotional distress.
Though, it wasn’t until the O’Pits (as they were all given a name that started with an “O”) were adopted into homes that they really showed signs of the PTSD. Many, if not all of them, including O’Bannon, had never lived inside a house. The simple act of turning on and off lights sent him cowering and running from the room. He was afraid to go down steps or walk down hallways. He still struggles mentally to build up the courage to come to us if we are at one end of the hall and he is at the other. He is still quite paranoid in certain situations, always looking over his shoulder and looking around as if he is waiting for something bad to happen.
What is your pet's favorite thing to do?
O’Bannon loves laying outside in the sunshine and playing with his sister Sylvie.
What is your pet's favorite thing to eat?
Can we have some extra paper to list everything? O’Bannon especially enjoys potatoes and pot roast. He really enjoys cheese as an extra treat.
What do you love most about your pet?
His courage to wake up each day with a happy demeanor and give it his best even though throughout the day his courage will be tested. We just love his spirit and the joy he brings by simply watching him interact with his furry siblings, Bruizer, Sylvie and Mani or laying in his recliner.
What has your pet most taught you?
O’Bannon has taught us that one of the most precious gifts is the gift of safety. When we think back to his condition when he first came home and compare it to his behavior now, we see little acts every day which shows he feels safe more and more. People often take the feeling of safety for granted. People, for the most part, have the ability to take precautions or to change our behavior to ensure our safety. Dogs do not completely have that ability and are dependent upon us to provide them with an environment of care and comfort. O’Bannon appreciates the care and comfort everyone has given him since the day he was rescued. And he has reciprocates and showers us with care and comfort every time his little face looks up at us.
Also, it is so important not to dismiss an animal with a special need. Often times, they are no more work than pets without special needs and are sometimes so much more rewarding.
Anything else you’d like to share?
We were so inspired by O’Bannon’s ability to trust and love others, his loyalty, gentleness and courage that it was only right to make him the mascot of our law firm. We used his image and likeness with his bright red collar as our logo because he embodies all of the qualities we hope to provide to our clients. He has his own Facebook page where he likes to blog and keep in touch with all of the wonderful people who saved his life and took care of him while he was waiting for us to find him.
***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, Barbara Techel
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