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.

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.


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