Sunday, May 11, 2008

Frankie: The Walk 'n Roll Day by Barbara Techel

When Frankie ruptured a disk in her spine 2 years ago, I thought she would have to be put to sleep. I had no idea she could go on and live a quality life.

A story on MSNBC website, has me reflecting on life with Frankie since she has had her own set of custom wheels made by Eddie’s wheels, Some of the comments back were upsetting to me. Some people believe animals with a disability should be put to sleep and not given a chance.

I was ignorant about IVDD disease, which is common in dachshunds and smaller dogs. The little I knew, I assumed if Frankie ever developed the disease, I would have to put her to sleep. When I got the call, while on vacation, that Frankie needed surgery immediately I was apprehensive about going through with the surgery. I wondered how she would be if the surgery did not work and she didn’t walk again. I was assured she could live a quality life in a dog cart if surgery didn’t help her walk. That was the first time I ever heard of a cart for dogs.

After three months of physical therapy Frankie did not gain use of her hind legs so we bought her a cart. It changed our lives…. for the better and for the positive. Frankie is the same sweet girl she was before she had a cart. Her spunk is the same, if not better! She squeals through the yard on warm summer days, letting the wind fly through her ears, chasing butterflies and smelling all the aromas that summer has to offer. She learned to navigate corners and to also back up in her cart. My husband relates her backing up in her cart to a large truck and says, “beep, beep, beep” when she first learned to go in reverse.

One of the most inspiring things about Frankie and her wheels is the compassion we receive from adults and children when I have her out in my little town of about 1,200. People smile from ear to ear when they see the little dog with tires. They are so amazed at how well she rolls along. Often I am asked what happened to her. I don’t mind sharing her story. I believe by doing so it will help others realize that dogs too deserve a chance if they are born with a disability or one occurs sometime in their life.

Dog carts are a blessing for animals whose lives are still full of zest and vigor. They don’t have the emotions we humans have. All they know is this is their situation, they live in the moment, they don’t complain, and they go on loving as they always did.

I am so glad for the blessing of Frankie in my life… as well as thankful for all the companies out there who are dedicated to physically challenged animals.

Resources for disc disease and those who help the handicapped dogs:

Barbara wrote “Frankie, The Walk ‘N Roll Dog” to give hope and inspiration to all who face challenges. Her lifetime love of animals lead her to realize that Frankie’s paralysis was an opportunity to spread a positive message. For more information on Barbara and her book visit her website at

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