Letter from a Frankie Fan Touches My Heart

I have “met” some very amazing people since embarking on my journey with Frankie.  Every day there is a new blessing that reveals itself.  Every time that happens it makes me feel incredibly grateful for the path I am meant to be on.

Luke with his dog Jake

Recently I received a very touching letter from a fellow dachshund lover.  We “dachshund people” are a breed of our own and I consider it an honor to be among these kind people.  Luke sent me the letter below, along with a poem he wrote about his dear Jake who passed away.  It especially struck me coming from a guy- who sometimes are not always so willing to share their feelings, so I was just so touched he shared this with me.  He also gave me permission to share with all of you and hopes his poem may help others.  I have no doubt it will.  Thank you, Luke.

My departed dachshund Jake had a similar story. When he was around 12 years old he ruptured a disc and after a good deal of money he thankfully recovered from surgery. He later became diabetic and eventually died from (I believe) a brain tumor. The last year or more of his life was very tough as he lost the ability to walk and eventually could not stand on his own. I had to carry him outside and hold him up to eat but I did not care. I loved that dog more than life itself and would had done anything for him.

When he passed it was very sad but looking back it was time as he was not enjoying life and was starting to have episodes due to the tumor. God bless you for pointing out to others that back disease does not equal a death sentence.

Poem written by Luke after Jake passed:

Goodbye To A Friend

There is no need to fight, or to hang on another day
Though I am sad to see you go, and I have always dreaded this day

I think back to the days when you were so young and so free,
You loved nothing more than to chase a squirrel up a tree

But the squirrel had no worries, about meeting his end
You were such a gentle soul you would had just made him your friend

But time took it’s toll, and you picked up some gray
The walks were a bit slower, but we made more friends that way

And when you could no longer walk, or no longer stand
I was there as your best friend, to lend you a hand

Now you no longer suffer, nor feel any pain
Goodbye my friend, until we meet again

Jake and Minnie (Luke lost both in the same year)  I like how Luke said, “until we meet again.”  I truly believe we all do meet again… for me personally that is what brings me peace about beloved animals I have had that have passed on.  So I’m sure Luke will see Jake and Minnie again… and how lucky those dogs were to have Luke while here on earth.

Frankie’s Story Featured in, “Every Dog Has a Gift” published by Penguin/Tarcher Publishing

As Frankie described it on her blog, “my mom cried buckets of tears”… she is exactly right.

Deborah Mitchell who interviewed me for Frankie’s story did an excellent job of sharing our mission of helping children overcome their own challenges through Frankie’s example.  She appropriately titled it, “Frankie: Keep on Rolling!”  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Deborah for understanding the depth of my passion for sharing Frankie’s story with others… it truly warmed my heart.

A portion of the proceeds from Every Dog Has a Gift, true stories of dogs who bring hope and healing into our lives, will benefit The Good Dog Foundation which educates others on the many benefits of animal assisted therapy.

It is an absolute honor to have Frankie’s story featured among all these wonderful therapy dogs portrayed in the book– all dogs are so special and I especially like what Rachel Mcpherson wrote in her introduction: “I want to emphasize my firm belief that each and every dog is a therapy dog.  That’s not to say that every dog has gone through a specially designed training program so he or she can behave approprately in a clinical setting.  I’m saying that all dogs inherently have the power to heal, and they all want to give love and be loved in return, even those who appear to act frightened or vicious.  And what better therapy is there than love?” 

Be sure to check the book out today on Amazon.  What a great gift for all dog lovers!!

Media Release: Two Canine Celebrities Join Forces to Teach Fire Safety and Help Others with Special Needs

This is going to be so incredibily fun!!  I met Dayna Hilton, volunteer Firefighter, Author and Educator and her dog Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog via Facebook about a year ago.  We have corresponded weekly and our passion of helping children, along with our special dogs, has us coming together to actually finally meet in person… and dog!  Along with Frankie and Sparkles’, Dayna and I will do some very special projects while they are here in Wisconsin (traveling from Arkansas), so I wanted you all to be the first to know!



Two Dogs Rollin’: Frankie and Sparkles Big Adventure 2010
Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog Shows Local School Children How To Get Low and Go and
Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog Encourages School Children to Help those with Special Needs

Friday, April 9th, 2010 10:30am and 1:00pm

WHO: Sparkles, a fire safety savvy Dalmatian resplendent in her red service vest along with her human mom, educator and volunteer firefighter Dayna Hilton.
Frankie, an exuberant disabled dachshund outfitted with special harness to help her walk along with her human mom, author and educator, Barbara Techel.
Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah Elementary School
Western Canada Elementary School

WHAT: History in the making! After meeting on Facebook and Skype this past year, Sparkles and Dayna travel from Arkansas to meet Barbara and Frankie at their home in Wisconsin. They are coming together for this first time ever event to help children stay safe in case of a fire, and to encourage children to be of service by helping those with special needs. They will first present in person (and dog!) to elementary students at Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah Elementary School. They will sign books and pose for photos. They will then present via webcam and the technology of Skype from Barbara’s home in Elkhart Lake to Karen Keys, teacher librarian, and students from a elementary school in western Canada.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. and 1:00pm, April 9th, 2010

WHERE: Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah Elementary School at 10:30am followed by 1:00pm presentation via Skype from Barbara and Frankie’s home in Elkhart Lake.

WHY: As children follow the adventures of Sparkles, they learn valuable fire safety tips enabling them and their families to keep safe. These tips include recognizing the firefighter as a helper and friend, knowing the sound and purpose of a smoke alarm, learning how to crawl low under smoke, and understanding the importance of practicing a home fire drill using an escape map. Also as children follow the adventures of Frankie, they learn how to be positive when faced with any challenge. They learn despite a challenge they can be of service and help out in their communities. Along with Sparkles, Frankie will encourage children to be aware of those with special needs in the event of a fire to help them stay safe as well.

VISUALS: Sparkles, Dayna, Frankie, and Barbara will show:

· How Sparkles teaches children to get low and go in case of a fire
· How to get low and go to your outside meeting place
· Knowing the sound and importance of smoke alarms
· The importance of being of service and helping those with physical challenges stay safe.
· Sparkles and Dayna’s book “Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog.”
· Frankie and Barbara’s “Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog” book series.

OTHER: Both dogs love children, educating them on fire safety and being of service and going to work, while both mom’s of these special dogs are grateful for the opportunities their dogs have brought them and are passionate in helping and encouraging children of all ages. For more information please visit their blog http://www.frankieandsparkles.com/