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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Special Needs Pet Feature: Selianka

Selka in stocking 2010,crop 
What is your pet's name? 
My pet’s name is Selianka, which supposedly means “a little girl from the town” in the Romanian/Croatian language.

How old is your pet?

Selianka is 2 ½ years old.

Where did you get your pet?
I was whelping her mother at my house on March 14, 2009,  but at 1am, I knew something was wrong, so I drove to the Dog Hospital in our city, and around 2am she was born via C-Section. She has one live brother. Two siblings were stillborn.

W-pups with Selka,resized 
What is your pet's physical challenge?
She is so very small. She was 4.5 ounces at birth, and she grew properly until she was 5 weeks old. Then she slowed down, and at 14 weeks of age, she weighed 2 pounds, while her brother weighed  in at 5 pounds.  When she was 6 months old, she got very sick, and was in the Dog Hospital for 10 days. They finally found that she had a liver shunt, and were able to operate and save her life. Selianka now weighs 3 pounds and she is a pretty,  long legged little girl, with a height of 8 inches.  She is doing fine in the house and our fenced in back yard, but when we are out on the town, she must be carried, so she does not get stepped on by passers by. She is very nervous in large people crowds if she is on the ground.

What is your pet's favorite thing to do?
Play with her  Russian Toy dog pals in the yard, chase the black Lab next door (on the other side of the fence). Chase other kritters in the yard.  AND she loves to sort clean laundry.  Watch video.

What is your pet's favorite thing to eat?
People food. We are very careful not to  feed her “bad” food from our plates. But she gets a tiny piece of cheese with breakfast. And she loves the tiny, tiny pieces of chicken or duck jerky for midday snack. Being a Russian Toy dog, and with her small size, she can suffer from low blood sugar. We feed her in the morning and at dinner time. Then she getsa  very small snack midday, and before bed time.

What do you love most about your pet?
Her impishness, spunk and beauty is what I love the most.  Although she was born with a liver shunt, most Russian Toys are quite healthy.

What has your pet most taught you?
To be very gentle and kind to her. With her small size and light weight, it is easy to hoist her up in the air, or swirl/twirl her around. She does not appreciate that. She has also taught me that just because she is so small, it does not mean that she thinks she is small…oh no…in her mind she is a large dog, with a large dogs power. So she really needs to be protected from large vicious dogs, or she can be their snack. I am also in the yard with her at all times. She is no larger than a squirrel, and the hawk, fox or coyote can easily grab her for a meal.

 ***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 Special Message from Frankie's Mom

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.


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