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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.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Meet Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog at LaDeDa Books & Beans

LaDeDa Books To Host Book Signing with Award-Winning Duo Barbara Techel and Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog


Barbara Techel and her 11-year-old wheelchair-bound dachshund to share their rewarding volunteer therapy dog work through newest book in the series, Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog Visits Libby’s House.


LaDeDa Books & Beans is sponsoring a book signing with the award-winning duo to be held on Saturday, October 9th at 10:30am at 1624 York Avenue, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Before the book signing, Barbara will give a brief talk, selected reading and answer questions. And most importantly, Frankie will be there and promised to bring you smiles and joy by being in her loving presence.

We all face challenges in life, but dealing 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.

Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House is a true story told from a therapy dog’s viewpoint. This, 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 www.libbyshouse.com.

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, I wrote the first book and started taking her to local schools to entertain children,” says Barbara. “I realized Frankie would make a great therapy dog for adults as well as children. 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.”

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.

“I especially want children to not fear seniors who face the challenges brought on by aging,” says Ms. Techel. “I hope to encourage children to spend and cherish time with their own grandparents. I hope children will realize the beauty and wisdom in the elderly.”

“All one needs to do is see the expression in the eyes of those Frankie touches to know she is tangible love,” says Christine Thill, owner and RN administrator of Libby’s House where Frankie volunteers. “When the body fails, the spirit soars! Frankie’s visits along with Barb’s gentle nature are a true blessing to Libby’s House.”

Because she is bringing positive awareness to animals with disabilities through her therapy dog work, Frankie was inducted into the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame as Companion Dog in 2009. 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.

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 www.tinyurl.com/SkypeBarbara 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.

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