Four Year Old Twins Share in Their Own Words What Frankie Means to Them


I still recall the day.

When I knew I had to share my dachshund, Frankie’s story.

Even though I hadn’t a clue how to put a children’s book out into the world.

And I was scared.  Very scared.

But the drive to make a difference pushed away the fear.

I offered my prayers up to God telling him I was up for the challenge and the work and asked for His guidance. He didn’t fail me. I didn’t fail him.

It has been seven years since I published Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog.

And to this day, I still receive emails from people sharing with me how the book has touched them.

This means more to me than I can ever express adequately in words.

Today, I share with you one such reader, Danielle, who reached out to me recently to let me know how Frankie’s story has not only positively impacted her life, but the lives of her 4-year old twin girls. (Just a side note that she also refers to Cassie Jo, who was my chocolate Lab):

I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I’m finally getting around to contacting you.   Why?  I originally started reading your blog when Frankie was alive.  My own Dachshund, Dixie, had gone down when she was 4, so your posts about Frankie were uncannily relevant to my experience and of course, inspirational. 

Fast forward to today.  Dixie is 15 years old.  She is still going, but not as strongly as before.  She continues to teeter around or use her cart.  I have expressed her bladder and bowels for 11 years now.  It’s our version of “normal.” 

For my 4-year-old twins, normal is a dog who cannot pee or poop on her own, cannot jump, and whose non-wagging tail cannot express her joy, although she is still patient beyond belief, soulful, and our best friend.

Now that my twins are finally old enough for “Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog” I read it to them (slightly abridged).   They delighted in the story of a dog that was “just like Dixie.”  They were tickled that a story finally reflected their reality with their pet—they probably also felt that their reality was validated. 

Through the story, they also came to understand Dixie’s experience of becoming disabled, how she endured surgery and recovery, beginning to use her cart, etc.  The story helped them to connect more with Dixie and better understand my connection to this amazing being that has been a part of my life since she fit in my hand and her eyes were still closed as a puppy. 

Also, through the telling of Cassie Jo’s death and later learning that Frankie has since passed on, they began bombarding me with a series of questions about the death of Cassie Jo, and pondering Dixie’s mortality.  I feel they are better prepared now for Dixie’s inevitable decline and for what is certain to come within a few months.

Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your and Frankie’s story.  When I read about it years ago, I never imagined how it would impact my future children.


And then the love icing on the cake, recorded in their own voices, messages from each of Danielle’s girls about Frankie:

Thank you, Danielle, and your beautiful girls for touching my heart.

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The “Funny” Side of Having a Dachshund with IVDD

The "Funny" Side to Having a Dachshund with IVDD

Gidget Selfie

You can’t take life too seriously. Goodness knows I’ve learned that from all three of my dachshunds with IVDD (disc disease) that I’ve had over the years.

While at times it can be frustrating with potty accidents (due to the disc disease they oftentimes needs their bladders and bowels expressed) and limited vacations without them, there is a funny side, too.

Such as today.

I headed out the kitchen door, through the garage, with Gidget tucked under my right arm like a football.

She loves to ride with me every Tuesday afternoon when I go to pick up our CSA farm share.

It’s about a 10-minute drive. I turn off the radio and enjoy the silence and take the back roads to enjoy the country side scenery.

Just me and my girl spending quality time together.

Back home again, relaxed from the quiet ride, I tucked Gidget back under my right arm, and my CSA box in my left hand.

I opened the back door to the kitchen to discover someone had left a trail behind…

of little poop’s that managed to escape out of someone’s (who shall remain nameless) cute little behind.

Though I have a feeling you may just know who said cute little butt belongs to.

Yup. This is how we roll when you care for a dachshund with IVDD. Those little poop’s can fly out without any warming what-so-ever and sometimes go undetected until a later time.

Poor Kylie. She was left to endure the smell. But she seemed to have survived the trail of tootsie rolls she delicately walked around and was no worse for the wear.

The little poop’s now a distant memory after I scooped them up with tissue and flushed them away…

Until next time…when the poop bandit strikes again!

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It’s a Contest for 2015 National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day!

Contest for National Walk 'N Roll Dog Day 2015!

In August 2012 I founded National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day. As many of you may know, I founded this day in memory of my dachshund, Frankie who was in a wheelchair due to paralysis from disc disease.

Frankie rolled for six years touching the lives of many through visits to schools and many facilities as a therapy dog. Her life is chronicled in two children’s books I wrote about her and my memoir, Through Frankie’s Eyes.

I wanted her legacy to live on after she passed away on June 22, 2012.  And I also wanted a way in which to honor ALL dogs in wheelchairs around the world.

You know why?

Because they deeply inspire me and still do to this day!

The official day of celebration is September 22.  Along with this day and bringing positive awareness to the public that dogs in wheelchair can and DO live quality lives, I have a campaign to raise money for The Frankie Wheelchair Fund.

This fund, in Frankie’s name, has granted 43 wheelchairs to date to paralyzed dogs in need.

Yup! That is worth a Yahoo, don’t you think?

And this year to celebrate, artist Brianna Brunsell of Silly Dog Magnets has generously donated her time and talent in creating a illustration for the special day which will be available for sale as t-shirts coming soon!

And here is where I need your help!

We need a slogan for this year so I’m running a contest and have created a Facebook page just for the contest which you can check out here. This is where you can also leave your idea for a slogan!  And I welcome all ideas!

Winner will receive a t-shirt with their slogan on and the illustration Brianna is working on to celebrate National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day 2015. I will also include a signed copy of my memoir, Through Frankie’s Eyes to the winner.

Funds raised from the sale of t-shirts will benefit the Frankie Wheelchair Fund to help more paralyzed dogs in need. Yup, we need another yahoo!

The average cost of a wheelchair is $385 so as you can see we hope to raise a nice chunk of change to help as many deserving disabled dogs in need as we can.

So head on over to our Facebook page for the contest, give it a “like,” leave your idea, and please help spread the word.

Thank you!

Please note that contest is open to US residents only due to shipping costs.

Contest ends August 1, 2015.

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