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.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Meet Allie: IVDD Does Not Stop Her From Being Spunky!


Last week my mom and I received a very nice email from Allie's mom, Katie.  She wrote to tell us she read my book Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog and found it inspirational as well as feeling like she was reading her dog, Allie's autobiography.  She attached this photo, and of course, I fell in love!

My mom asked Katie if she would share a little about Allie so here their fun little interview:

Barbara:  How old is Allie?

Katie:  Allie is 5.  She will be 6 in June.

Barbara:  Where did you get her?

Katie:  We got Allie from Starlight Kennel in Augusta, WI

Barbara:  When did she become paralyzed?

Katie:  Allie had her first surgery just before she turned 4 in May of 2009.  She made about a 95% recovery, but then she ruptured another disc in July of 2010. If she has enough motivation, she can walk really wobbly, but she usually uses her wheels or her parents to get around.  :)

Barbara:  What is Allie's favorite thing to do?

Katie:  Allie looooooooves to bury toys under rugs, blankets, dog beds, or even boxes, and then try to dig them out. We have many torn blankets and rugs because of this habit.  :)

Barbara:  What is Allie's favorite thing to eat?

Katie:  Allie loves to eat Caesar, the wet dog food. She used to get a little with her pills every morning after her surgery, and she was hooked. I still spoil her and give her some every morning, though she's not on medication anymore.

Barbara:  What do you love most about her?

Katie:  So many things!  One thing I love that makes her unique is that she can smell a toy from a mile away.  We can hide new toys in the most obscure places, and she will sniff them out and bark at the hiding spot until we give up and give her the toy. She also loves to open presents. This past Christmas we saved all our scrap wrapping paper and wrapped up all her toys with it.  She doesn't even care that it's an old toy inside. It's 30 seconds of heaven for her just to unwrap it.

Barbara:  What has Allie taught you?

Katie:  Allie has taught me that I have more patience than I thought! Seriously, though, she taught me not to let obstacles get in your way. With a loving and supportive family to help your though it, anything is possible.

Barbara:  Wow, would I have to agree on the patience thing as Frankie has really taught me that too!  BIG GRIN.  Thank you so much, Katie for sharing your spunky, beautiful little girl, Allie with us!  We wish you and Allie the very best always!

Note:  Allie's wheelchair comes from Eddie's Wheels.  A company we believe is truly dedicated to helping animals the best way possible.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saying Goodbye to my Pal Kirby

On Tuesday Mom shared the loss of a very special Maine Coon cat, named Sunshine on her blog.  He was my grandma's cat, but was very much a part of my life.  Click here to read about Sunshine and how he was instrumental in helping to me hop like a rabbit nine months after my IVDD diagnoses.

Today I share my memories of Kirby, a dachshund with much character, and who also happened to be my boyfriend.  He left us for the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, January 17th.
Kirby stayed with our family often, while his family went on vacation.  He was a dog with a lot of spunk and you could see it the minute you were in his presence.

He could do the "stay" commandment with just his stance and a look that had my 100 lb. lab, Kylie stay right where she was laying as he pranced by.

Every time he'd come bounding through the front door, after putting Kylie in her stay position, he'd charge after the love of his life, and yup, that was me.  After much playing and chasing, they'd often settle down to nap only as wiener dogs can do. I loved to snuggle next to his warm body.
Frankie and kirby sleeping
Kirby was a big part of our family... and yes, I even forgave his Dad for being a Viking fan.  And it was lucky for Kirby he was so cute that my mom and I did not object to his daily walks when with us, outfitted in his Viking harness and leash.  

My Dad, John and Kirby had a special connection and often referred to Kirby as "the little man."  In a houseful of all girls, Dad always welcomed Kirby for a visit to feel not so out numbered.

Many summers on the weekends Kirby and I would hang out on the deck soaking up the sun. I would settle in and roll over with my belly pointing to the sky.  But, Kirby, well he had to be on patrol, keeping watch over the backyard in case of another intruder.  He wanted nothing to happen to me, his best girl.

It won't be the same not having Kirby come to visit, but like Sunshine, we feel so very blessed to have known Kirby and that his parents entrusted us to care for him.

Thank you, Kirby for being the best boyfriend a wiener dog girl could ever ask for.  We know we will all meet again someday... and I will be so happy to snuggle with you again.  Thanks for being our friend.
Frankie and Kirby 


Friday, January 21, 2011

Frankie's Disabled Animal Rescue & Resource Page

So fellow dog author, Dayna Hilton told me about a wonderful thing SurfDog Ricochet started in helping bring awareness to animals in need with a special Facebook page dedicated to just that... and it got me thinking.

Because my mission, along with the help of my rolling dog, Frankie, is to bring positive awareness to animals with special needs, especially those with IVDD (Intevertebral Disc Disease), I thought, wow, I could start a page for Frankie to try and help disabled animals find forever, loving homes.  Now that just made my heart sing, so I jumped right on it!

This Facebook page, Frankie's Disabled Animal Rescue and Resource Page is for all rescuers who help special needs pets to find forever and loving homes to post those pets that need just that.  We also want this page to be a helpful resource page for those living with disabled pets.  Because of the attention Frankie has gotten and continues to gain, I felt this would be a wonderful way to try and help more animals!
Please share with rescuers you know!  Each of us can help make a difference in these special needs pets lives and the many blessings they bring, just by passing this information along.  Thank you so much!


Monday, January 17, 2011

DogTipper.com and Remembering Peanut and Daisy (A Duck and A Dachshund)

This is one of the BEST stories I have ever read!  Best friends in such an "odd couple" were Peanut and Daisy.
Peanut and Daisy

I want to thank Paris Permenter of DogTipper.com for allowing us to share this story she wrote for Reader's Digest years ago.  When you have a moment, do check out DogTipper.com.  It is loaded with all things dog's as well as a Blog Directory to more fun dog sites.  I am dog-gone excited to have been added to their wonderful directory!

Without further ado below is this wonderful, warm, loving story...and you might want to grab a tissue too.  (If you are having a hard time reading as is below, you can also read at DogTipper link.


Friday, January 14, 2011

A Tribute to Eddie's Wheels Mascot, Daisy

It was so hard for my mom and I to hear about the passing of Daisy, who for 16-years was the mascot for Eddie's Wheels. She passed away from a stroke.  Mom and I cried like a baby reading the news.

In 2006, my mom, after researching many different wheelchair companies to have one fitted for me, she kept going back to Eddie's Wheels.  Their story of why they started the company because of Ed's Doberman, Buddha, had who suffered a back injury many years ago, and how Ed designed a wheelchair for his beloved Buddha really spoke to my mom's heart .  At the time, Ed's vet didn't think a wheelchair would work for the dog... but Ed and Buddha proved him wrong.  

Seeing how well Ed's dog did, the vet started referring people to Ed for wheelchairs for their pets.  Eddie's Wheels was born out of love to help other animals thrive and live happy, long lives despite a disability
In 2001 they adopted Daisy and here is her story from Eddie's Wheels website:

Chief Executive Dog, Ret.  Daisy was born in Ecuador, raised in Jersey City and became disabled due to 4 herniated discs in 2001.
Judged not to be a surgical candidate, she was surrendered to the St. Francis of Assisi Shelter who contacted us about wheels.
We adopted Daisy in September of 2001.  She has been a brilliant ambassador for disabled dachshunds, demonstrating an irascible spirit and feisty attitude that challenges anyone who would dare pity her.

Mom and I agree with all our hearts of what a brilliant ambassador Daisy was for disabled dachshunds.  Doxie's do have this amazing fighting spirit and Daisy was no exception.  Her love for life on wheels is one of the main reasons my mom chose Eddie's Wheels.  She fell head over heals in love with her -and I knew she still loved me too.  :)

Daisy has made such an incredible impact on the lives of many animals, proving that the word disability is just a word... give a doxie a challenge and they will take it on with their upbeat, determined feisty spirit, and let nothing get in their way.

Daisy taught us that life goes on, and when you have wheels, you can fly pretty darn fast!  She taught us to treat her no different than anyone else and as her bio said, don't dare take pity on her.

Ed, Leslie and all the Eddie's Wheels family, please know my and my mom's hearts are heavy for the loss of such an amazing dog that Daisy was, and that we will miss her greatly.  But how blessed we feel to have found you in a time of great need, and how Daisy truly inspired my mom and gave her hope, that I too could live a full, happy, quality life just like Daisy.  We will always be incredibly grateful.  And I promise to carry on with Daisy's message as only a doxie can do... and that Eddie's Wheels will always be our #1 recommendation for wheelchairs for pets.

Rest in peace, Daisy... My mom and I shall miss you very much...

As a special tribute dedicated to the memory of Daisy we share the illustration and page in our book,Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog.

Everyone hopes I will walk again and I do not want to disappoint them. However, after three months, not much as changed in my legs. But Mom and Dad do not give up on me and find another way for me to walk with wheels! It is a cart made especially for dogs similar to a wheelchair they make for people.

My mom researches the internet and finds a good cart. The president of the company is a dog who looks just like me and her name is Daisy. She is also paralyzed and has a cart. One night Mom and Dad measure from the bottom of the floor to the top of my belly, the base of my neck to the tip of my tail, and then around my little chest. The cart will fit me perfectly and I will be able to zoom down the block!
Thank you again, Daisy for being our hero on wheels, and giving us hope that our little Frankie would live a happy life on wheels!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

3rd Grader Shares Thoughts about Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog book

As part of a wonderful program at a school in Wisconsin, the focus for the school this year is about "Bucketfilling."  Giving back each and every day.  As part of the program they have invited me to share my story (with a little help from my mom since I can't talk human!).

In December I snuggled in my mom's lap while she read my first book Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog to a gymnasium full of kids via Skype.  Jan. 17th mom will read my 2nd book via Skype Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby's House which has many bucketfilling lessons!

Getting ready to share my story via Skype in mom's writing studio

After the reading in December the students had to write something about the first book and here is what Carrie, in third grade, had to say:

Frankie the Walk ' Roll Dog is about a dog named Frankie and how one day her owner goes to Florida, leaves her at a kennel, and when she jumps up to get some food, she falls and loses feeling in her back legs and needs a dog cart.  I think that this book is a five star book for family friendliness and you should get it right away!!

Wonderful, Carrie!  Arf-a-roo!  My mom and I are really looking forward to our visit with all of you again via Skype in a few days, as well as our in person (and dog!) visit in May!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wheelchair Dachshund, Izzie Needs a Home

Could it be yours?
For more information visit Dakota Dachshund Rescue.


Wedged Wiener Dog Rescued After 2 1/2 Days

So, err, you could say this little wiener dog, Emma, was caught between a rock and a hard place... poor thing.  She was chasing a rodent and ended up wedged in between rocks and no way out!
Photo and story credit to Green Bay Press Gazette

Thank goodness for a helpful community (which is not far from where I live), and a lot of big truck equipment to help little Emma out.  Read the full story here and see photos here!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cats Playing Patty-Cake

They think they are so smart.  Silly cats!