Friday, January 29, 2010

Yvonne and Barbara Have Gone to the Dogs!

We have looked to our dogs as the experts on how to live a good life: love unconditionally, forgive everyone, and make someone smile when they are sad!

Today author Barbara Techel will be my guest as we discuss her second book, Frankie The Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House.

Children and seniors who have special needs or disabilities will easily relate to this true story told from a therapy dog’s viewpoint. The second book in the series, tells how Frankie became a registered therapy dog and gives several personal accounts of her visits to the residents of Libby’s House, a senior facility where many residents have Alzheimer’s or dementia

We all face challenges in life, but dealing with them is much easier when there’s support and understanding from significant others—even animals. Frankie is a dachshund who is paralyzed in her hind quarters as a result of an injury. But, she does not allow her physical challenges to limit her purpose or her gift of healing to others. Custom-fitted for a doggie wheelchair (dog cart), Frankie The Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog uses her disability to bring a message of hope and encouragement to young and old. The fact that she is in a wheelchair makes her a bit more unique as she helps people in nursing homes, hospitals, and hospice identify on a deeper level. She has a challenge like many of them.

Frankie’s human mom and the book’s author, Barbara Techel, hoped for years to have a therapy dog and share the love that only a dog can bring. She wanted the dog to visit people who may not have animal contact on a regular basis. When Frankie was fitted for a doggie wheelchair, Barbara wrote the first book and started taking Frankie to local schools to entertain children Then, she realized Frankie would make a great therapy dog for adults as well as children.

Visiting Libby’s House once a month opened Barbara’s heart and eyes to realizing that people may not always understand what the elderly are going through, and all they want is someone to listen and spend time with them.

Because she is bringing positive awareness to animals with disabilities through her therapy dog work, Frankie was awarded the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame Companion and is the official mascot for National Disabled Pets Day. This little dog teaches us that patience, listening, and understanding opens our hearts to what matters most—love.

Through Frankie’s example, Barbara hopes to encourage anyone facing a challenge.Having a disability does not mean we don’t have gifts to offer. Each of us can give back to the world in our own, unique way. Frankie’s volunteer work is a great way to prompt others to get involved in their own communities and find a way to be of service. Barbara says the rewards are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

MP3 File

Even though she and Frankie visit Libby’s House once a month, Barbara still enjoys sharing with children the messages in her books. In fact, she has found a new way to share Frankie’s story via Skype an Author Network whose mission is to provide K-12 teachers and librarians with a way to connect authors, books, and young readers through virtual classroom visits. See to learn more.

Children are invited to follow Frankie, The Walk ‘N Roll Dog’s adventures on Frankie's Blog: Adults will find more information about caring for special needs animals on Barbara’s blog at

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1 comment:

Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog said...

Much love and thanks to you Yvonne for such a special time with you on your delightful podcast! I'm soooooo happy to know you-- and Frankie wants a hug from you someday!

Barbara Techel & Frankie