About Me

My photo
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, July 3, 2012

Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog Who Inspired Thousands Passes Away

Elkhart Lake WI., June 2012

The beloved dachshund of author Barbara Techel and husband, John, as well as thousands of fans around the world, passed away peacefully in the loving arms of Barbara on June 21, 2012. She was two months shy of her thirteenth birthday.

Frankie suffered a spinal injury over six years ago and was fitted with a dog wheelchair.  Though devastating at first to the Techel’s,  Barbara realized the beautiful opportunity she was being given to help others through Frankie’s example. She and Frankie have taken their inspiring message of believing in yourself and staying positive throughout life’s challenges to classrooms and libraries and through their work as a volunteer certified therapy dog team since 2008. They made over 400 appearances in person, as well as via Skype. They also made over 250 visits with monthly visits to Memorial hospital, Libby’s House, and Sharon S. Richardson Hospice Community.

Techel’s passion is sharing with others what animals teach us about living in the moment and enjoying life to the fullest, and encouraging children to stay positive and make a difference no matter what their obstacles. Frankie’s story lives on in the books Techel wrote about her, Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog & Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House.

Frankie’s legacy will also live on in many ways.  One of which is the special garden dedicated to her at Bookworm Gardens which is a big hit with the many children that visit each year.  Techel is also working on a special day which will be in Frankie’s honor called, “Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day.” Not only will it be in memory of Frankie, but it will honor the many dogs around the world who teach us about perseverance  and how a dog can live a long, happy, quality life in a wheelchair.

Along with “Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day”, a memorial fund has been set up in Frankie’s name through Eddie’s Wheels where Frankie’s wheelchair was custom made.  Techel said, “Many times disabled dogs in rescue can be more easily adopted out if someone is interested in adopting them,  but may not have the funds to pay for a wheelchair.  Also, families in financial need with a dog that needs a wheelchair can be helped instead of the family having to lose their beloved family member.  Disabled animals can live a good life if given a chance.”  To learn more about  the fund you can visit www.joyfulpaws.com.

Through their work, Frankie and Barbara were also able to help give hope to many whose pets were diagnosed with disc disease like Frankie had. Techel has talked with people all over the world the past five years helping guide them after their pet has been diagnosed with disc disease. Techel said, “I will continue to be available to help whoever I can to educate them that disc disease is not a death sentence. It is truly one of my greatest joys to give others hope that their dog can go on to live a quality life.”

Frankie’s last gift to Barbara was her quiet, encouraging presence as she snoozed contently in her bed as Techel wrote about her journey the past ten years and all that Frankie has taught her.  Through Frankie’s Eyes:  One Woman’s Journey to Her Authentic Self and the Dog on Wheels Who Led the Way will be released early 2012.
“My life will never be the same with Frankie gone… but my life will never be the same for her having been in it. She gave me, as well as left me, with some amazing gifts… not only me, but her papa, and thousands of fans.”

Barbara Techel



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Frankie's Blog Has Moved - Please Join Us At Our New Home - Today!

I'm so happy to announce that our new website is up and ready for you to see and enjoy!  Even better is my blog is incorporated right into the website, along with my mom's blog, Joyful Paws.

We'd hate to lose you so please be sure to visit our site today and sign up to receive my blog posts so you don't miss out on anything. You'll need to do this soon as I'll be closing this blog down on March 15, 2012.

This is how to subscribe so my blog posts are delivered via your email in-box:

Scroll down to SUBSCRIBE TO FRANKIE'S BLOG on left hand side and under my photo you'll see where you need to enter your email.

Scroll down to SUBSCRIBE TO JOYFUL PAWS BLOG (on left hand side under Frankie's photo) and enter your email address.

You can also subscribe to our newsletter updates (if you already follow us this way, you won't need to do this step again).  You'll see subscribe button in upper left hand corner for newsletter updates.

Of course you can always follow us the following ways as well:

Barbara on Facebook

Frankie on Facebook

Barbara on Twitter

Frankie on Twitter

Barbara and Frankie on Youtube


Monday, February 20, 2012

Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog, Author & Artist Team Up to Inspire Younger Generation

(click on flyer to enlarge)

Local artist, Cassy Tully and I are very excited about our special and unique contest we are sponsoring. It is open to all third grade students in Sheboygan County school's.

Be positive, make a difference, and be creatively you!

I love the idea of an author and artist coming together in this way to help inspire and encourage our younger generation. We have mailed out 64 letters to area third grade teachers and hope they will be as excited as we are to present this contest to their students.

We are encouraging students to use colors, paint, chalk, markers, or colored pencil to design an outfit for Frankie with template will we provide. Cassy and I will personally judge the entries in April. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

Grand prize winner will receive a presentation for their classroom from Cassy and I. Cassy will share her art process and I will share my writing process. They will also receive a special visit from Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog.  Winner will also have their winning artwork framed by Cassy Tully-Fine Art. It will be displayed in Cassy's gallery/shop until time of our school presentation. They will also receive a bundle of Frankie books, tote bag, magnets, and Frankie greeting card designed by Cassy.

We hope this will be so well embraced that we can do it again for next year... and who knows, maybe take it bigger at some time in the future.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Gift Giveaway!

Valentine's Gift Giveaway at Joyful Paws blog today (my mom's blog!) so be sure to stop on by!!  Ends at midnight today.  Good luck!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Gift Giveaway Tomorrow- Don't Miss It!

Be sure to stop by Joyful Paws blog tomorrow on Valentine's Day... the day of love... and sharing love with a special Gift Giveaway my Mom and I are doing! Time sensitive so don't miss out!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Teaching Kids About Special Needs Pets & How to Be Positive Despite Challenges

It's hard to believe it is has been since 2008 that Frankie and I have been teaching kids about special needs pets, while also encouraging them to see their own challenges in a positive way. This is such rewarding work. Each visit we now do seems even more precious since Frankie is semi-retired.

Recently we visited a small catholic school, Shepherd of the Hills. It was such a delightful school and the kids were oober crazy to meet Frankie! I'm so excited to share these photos with you that the school took and granted me permission to share.  Each photo describes what Frankie and I teach the kids during our presentation.  Side note:  It was catholic school week, so today's theme was tropical, so that is why the students are all dressed so colorfully.  :)

This student is learning how to put Frankie in her wheelchair with a little help from me.

Student learning how Frankie's wheelchair all fits together.

A big round of applause for this student doing such a great job in helping Frankie into her wheelchair

Explaining to the students how I have to express Frankie's bladder since she can't do that on her own because of her Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). I then show them a photo of how I hold Frankie over the toilet as I express her bladder. As you can imagine, this gets lots of giggles!

I ask for three volunteers to come up and learn how to do physical therapy on Frankie. This student is getting ready to do one of the exercises I did for Frankie when she was recovering and healing.

This student is learning how to do a range of motion exercise for Frankie

This student learned how to move Frankie's leg and pretend like Frankie was pedaling a bicycle in this exercise

Showing Frankie's dog wheelchair to the students so they can see what it looks like without her in it

The grand finale is showing the students how I trained Frankie to walk in her wheelchair. I hold a treat in my hand and as soon as I start to walk, Frankie follows me.  The students cheer and clap and this always warms my heart... right down to my toes.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Recent Visit to Notre Dame Elementary School

Elementary students from Notre Dame School of De Pere were treated to a visit from author Barbara Techel, right, and her inspirational pet — Frankie, the Walk ‘n Roll Dog — on Jan. 19. / Submitted

Reprinted from the Green Bay Gazette:

Notre Dame School of De Pere
The elementary students were treated to a visit by Frankie, the Walk 'n Roll Dog, on Thursday, Jan. 19. Frankie and her owner, author Barbara Techel, shared their touching story with the students.
When Frankie, a dachshund, suffered a spinal injury, Ms. Techel had her fitted with a custom wheelchair. Frankie persevered and now volunteers as a therapy dog at local hospitals and nursing homes, spreading joy and hope wherever they go.
Their message to the Notre Dame students was threefold: think positive, make a difference and keep on rolling.
Students were able to purchase books about Frankie and have them signed by both Barbara and Frankie — with her paw print. A portion of all book proceeds is donated to various disabled animal charities


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Life As a Semi-Retired Inspirational Dog Begins

Yesterday I announced the official beginning of my semi-retirement, so as you can see today I jumped right into my new part time "job." It's tough being a dog lounging around in my mom's writing studio as she clicks away on the keyboard. But I do think I'm up for the challenge. ARF!
Have no fear though, I am still doing appearances and would love to visit your school or library- just be sure to get on my calendar early as my mom is making sure I live a balanced life. Good Mom.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog Announces Her Semi-Retirement

Happy 2012! As the New Year kicks off I am finding more time for rest and relaxation and officially announce my semi-retirement. Here I am below in the big wicker chair in my mom's writing studio... snoozing and catching glimpses out the window. How I love to watch the world go by...
frankie resting
I'm grateful to my mom for understanding I wish to slow down a little bit now that I am twelve. Can you believe it has been five years since I began sharing my story?  How time flies! But I look forward to meeting new kids this year too. Be sure to get on my calendar early in you'd like me to visit your school is Wisconsin because I'll be doing limited visits. I am also still doing Skype visits and booking now for those as well, so please contact us to book an in-person or Skype visit.

My therapy dog work will continue visiting Libby's House and Hospice, as long as I am comfortable in doing so my mom says. So far so good, so will look forward to seeing all my friends when I visit.

Stay tuned also to the announcement of my mom's new book about her journey and what she learned about life from me (her first adult nonfiction book!)... if you'd like updates about her new book coming later this year or early in 2013, be sure to follow along on her Joyful Paws Blog.