HOW WOULD YOUR LIFE BE DIFFERENT IF YOU COULD TURN EVERY CHALLENGE INTO A BLESSED STEPPING STONE?
This is exactly what one dear little Dachshund did.
The story of Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog is a true, inspirational story about a dog whose life started out just like any other dog walking on all four paws until a spinal injury leaves her paralyzed. When Frankie is custom fit for a wheelchair she gradually learns to keep on rolling. Her zest for life will have you cheering her on and give you hope that all things are possible.
Frankie’s story touches the hearts of young and old as she teaches us how a challenge can become a stepping stone to something more meaningful. Frankie’s motto is: “Always be positive and keep on rolling!”
Frankie's mom, Barbara Techel, is here with some stories you might not know.
CA: Barbara, yours and Frankie's story is such a powerful mixture of love, devotion and perseverance. Frankie was six when she became paralyzed. How did her injury change your view of handicapped pets?
BT: BT: What a wonderful question! I had never really thought about animals with disabilities before Frankie became paralyzed. Now I see the many valuable lessons they offer us, as well as what a huge blessing they are. I think all animals are special, but handicapped animals have really spoken to my heart in a way that is hard for me to sometimes say in words.
I'm amazed at how animals with challenges just overcome them and adjust without feeling sorry for themselves. I really don't think they see a disabilitiy as that, but just figure out a way to adjust and get on with life.
That is the beauty of what they can teach us... to look at our challenges as a stepping stone to something better, a new way of life. For me, Frankie helped me find my joy and purpose, which is sharing her story. And sharing that handicapped animals really can have great lives if they are given a chance. So often they are the last to be adopted at a shelter because of the extra care (and money) they may require. But the blessings of watching them flourish and thrive is priceless.
CA: Do you think the experience with your Lab, Cassie Jo's bone cancer diagnosis help prepare you for Frankie's challenges?
BT: Without a doubt, yes. Though I didn't realize it for awhile until all of the adjusting with Frankie had passed. When I look back to almost 5 years ago I totally understand why everything happened the way it did. I would not be who I am today without first Cassie Jo and now Frankie. Cassie Jo started out my path of looking inward and discovering for me what mattered, which lead me to writing about animals. Then Frankie's injury lead me further down my path in writing her story and sharing it with kids.
CA: I can only imagine how much fun the two of you have doing events with children. Can you share one particular reaction or question that took you off guard?
BT: It is quite fun! I love watching the looks on kids faces and hearing their shouts of glee when I show them how Frankie walks in her wheels. Often kids will call Frankie's dog cart a car, or a scooter, which I think is cute. I can't recall any question that has taken me off guard. Though in writing Frankie's story I had planned on not sharing the part about her pooping on the floor or tooting, as it was embarrasing for me to say. Well, I was encouraged to put that in the book because kids love that stuff. I wasn't sure how I would handle it once I started doing presentations, but now I have so much fun with it!!
Because of Frankie's paralysis I show kids how I help her go potty and poop. Of course that gets them all fired up and I just have such a good time with it. I get the kids involved with having them come up and do physical therapy for Frankie like I did. They get hands experience in moving her legs in different exercises. Often times I will "warn" them that Frankie just might toot during that time, so they should be aware. That sparks lots of giggles!!
CA: A little dog told me that you have another book in the works, Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby's House. Would you share a little bit about it?
BT: Yes! This book should be out January 2010. Frankie became a registered therapy dog in Sept. 2009. This book is how she became a therapy dog and how she now visits a senior assisted facility (Libby's House) once a month. Most of the patients have Alzheimer's or dementia. It is my hope to help children understand the elderly a bit better and hopefully not fear them so much, as well as encourage them to spend time with elderly they may know. Frankie meets some very special friends and it will deal with how she interacts with them and how she makes friends with them and loses one of her friends there as well.
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