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.”