Nashville, TN (PressExposure) November 20, 2009 -- We all face challenges in life, but dealing them is much easier when thereâs support and understanding from significant othersâeven 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 âN Roll Therapy Dog uses her disability to bring a message of hope and encouragement to young and old.
Frankie the Walk âN Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libbyâs House is a true story told from a therapy dogâs 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 Libbyâs House, a senior facility where many residents have Alzheimerâs or dementia http://www.libbyshouse.com.
Frankieâs human mom and the bookâs 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.
âWhen Frankie was fitted for a doggie wheelchair, I wrote the first book and started taking her to local schools to entertain children,â says Barbara. âI 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.â
Visiting Libbyâs House once a month opened Barbaraâs 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.
âI especially want children to not fear seniors who face the challenges brought on by aging,â says Ms. Techel. âI 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.â
âAll one needs to do is see the expression in the eyes of those Frankie touches to know she is tangible love,â says Christine Thill, owner and RN administrator of Libbyâs House where Frankie volunteers. âWhen the body fails, the spirit soars! Frankieâs visits along with Barbâs gentle nature are a true blessing to Libbyâs House.â
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 mostâlove.
Through Frankieâs example, Barbara hopes to encourage anyone facing a challenge. Having a disability does not mean we donât have gifts to offer. Each of us can give back to the world in our own, unique way. Frankieâs 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 Libbyâs 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 Frankieâs 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 http://tinyurl.com/SkypeBarbara to learn more.
Children are invited to follow Frankie, The Walk âN Roll Dogâs adventures on Frankie's Blog: http://www.frankiethewalknrolldog.blogspot.com/. Adults will find more information about caring for special needs animals on Barbaraâs blog at [http://www.joyfulpaws.typepad.com/].