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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, 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
www.joyfulpaws.com
barb@joyfulpaws.com
920-377-1749





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12 comments:

Shelle Pennington said...

Many, many prayers for you and your family as Miss Frankie is now at the bridge with all the others.

You were a fantastic dog mom, and I know Frankie would want us to remind you of how many lives you changed by giving her a hooman voice.

Shelle, Milo, Dixie and Newby,
http://simpaticodreams.blogspot.com/

Barbara Techel said...

Thank you, Shelle, Milo, Dixie and Newby.

A MilShelb Mom said...

I am so sorry to hear this. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We will miss her!!!
~Maggie

Barbara Techel said...

Thank you, Maggie.

lawrence said...

You are really a great dog mom, I sincerely tribute to you.

Barbara Techel said...

Thank you, Lawrence.

DogsMom said...

I am so very sorry that I had not seen this until just now. My deepest condolences to your family.
Frankie will always be remembered and loved by more people than you can ever know.

Barbara Techel said...

Thank you DogsMom I appreciate your kind thoughts. She was indeed a special little girl that I was so blessed to have in my life and share with others.

Dawn Kairns, Author of MAGGIE said...

Barbara, I just saw this as I don't keep up too much online these days. I am so, so sorry about your loss of Frankie. I know how very special Frankie was to you and to so many. I know there is a big hole in your lives, and my heart goes out to you.

Barbara Techel said...

Thank you, Dawn. It was very hard to lose Frankie. The grief harder than any other to date-- but I'm so glad to have the time I did with her-- she was a blessing in so many ways. I carry her in my heart.

Oskar said...

Oh my gosh, we are so late to know about this, but we are truly sorry that Frankie is gone.

She did so much to change things for so many in her life.

Hugs,
Pam & Oskar

Barbara Techel said...

Thank you, Pam and Oskar. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving your lovely note. About a month ago I did adopt another little dog with IVDD like Frankie had. Her name is Joie and she is bringing much joy to my life. You can learn more about her on my website/blog, www.joyfulpaws.com Frankie will forever be in my heart.