Monday, January 25, 2010
Author and Certified Therapy Dog Team Coming to WITS Podcast
This book is about a dachshund named Frankie who is paralyzed in her hind quarters. She has been fitted for a doggie wheelchair (dog cart) that helps her get around. It also helps people identify with her—especially children and elderly folks who are managing life with a disability.
In the book, the author tells how Frankie became a certified therapy dog when a friend recognized the gentle nature of the animal and how much she seemed to enjoy being around people and allowing them to pet her. Soon Barbara and Frankie started visiting a senior assisted living facility known as Libby’s House. There, she meets senior-aged residents who simply adore her.
Frankie tells her story from her own “doggie” point of view. I especially like this passage in the book:
As we stroll off the elevator, a man in a wheelchair comes rolling toward us.
“Oh, what do we have here?” He reaches down and strokes my fur. “You have wheels just like me, little pup. What happened?”
My mom told the kind man how I hurt my back and how my dog cart helps me walk. His eyes filled with tears. “That is so wonderful! How nice of you to come here to visit,” he says. “You just made my day!”
Mom lifts me onto Daniel’s lap. “You are so special, Frankie,” he says. I look up at him and notice his eyes are filling with tears. “I feel so sorry for her,” Daniel says sadly.
“You don’t need to feel sorry for Frankie,” Mom says. “Visiting you makes her very happy.”
“It does?” Daniel holds me close. “Frankie is perfect, unlike me. I am not perfect,” Daniel’s voice cracks.
“We think you are perfect just the way you are.” My mom reassures Daniel. I rest my head on his knee and raise my eyebrows. Daniel smiles and his whole face lights up.
It takes a lot of time, energy, love, and dedication to care for an animal that has special needs. Frankie’s owner (and the author of the Frankie stories), Barbara Techel, has to help Frankie move her bowels because she cannot feel when she needs to go. I admire this author. Not only does she happily meet Frankie’s needs, she allows Frankie to use her disability to bless others and teach the rest of us how to accept those who have a disability.
I highly recommend this book to children AND adults. We all need to have our heart strings tugged every now and then.
Purchase on Amazon.com