Meet Allie: IVDD Does Not Stop Her From Being Spunky!

Last week I received a very nice email from Allie’s mom, Katie.  She wrote to tell me she read my book Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog and found it inspirational as well as feeling like she was reading her dog, Allie’s autobiography.  She attached this photo, and of course, I fell in love!

I asked Katie if she would share a little about Allie so here is our fun little interview:

Barbara:  How old is Allie?

Katie:  Allie is 5.  She will be 6 in June.

Barbara:  Where did you get her?

Katie:  We got Allie from Starlight Kennel in Augusta, WI

Barbara:  When did she become paralyzed?

Katie:  Allie had her first surgery just before she turned 4 in May of 2009.  She made about a 95% recovery, but then she ruptured another disc in July of 2010. If she has enough motivation, she can walk really wobbly, but she usually uses her wheels or her parents to get around.  🙂

Barbara:  What is Allie’s favorite thing to do?

Katie:  Allie looooooooves to bury toys under rugs, blankets, dog beds, or even boxes, and then try to dig them out. We have many torn blankets and rugs because of this habit.  🙂

Barbara:  What is Allie’s favorite thing to eat?

Katie:  Allie loves to eat Caesar, the wet dog food. She used to get a little with her pills every morning after her surgery, and she was hooked. I still spoil her and give her some every morning, though she’s not on medication anymore.

Barbara:  What do you love most about her?

Katie:  So many things!  One thing I love that makes her unique is that she can smell a toy from a mile away.  We can hide new toys in the most obscure places, and she will sniff them out and bark at the hiding spot until we give up and give her the toy. She also loves to open presents. This past Christmas we saved all our scrap wrapping paper and wrapped up all her toys with it.  She doesn’t even care that it’s an old toy inside. It’s 30 seconds of heaven for her just to unwrap it.

Barbara:  What has Allie taught you?

Katie:  Allie has taught me that I have more patience than I thought! Seriously, though, she taught me not to let obstacles get in your way. With a loving and supportive family to help your though it, anything is possible.

Barbara:  Wow, would I have to agree on the patience thing as Frankie has really taught me that too!  BIG GRIN.  Thank you so much, Katie for sharing your spunky, beautiful little girl, Allie with us!  We wish you and Allie the very best always!

Note:  Allie’s wheelchair comes from Eddie’s Wheels.  A company I believe is truly dedicated to helping animals the best way possible.


Joy is: Doggie Love

Kylie and Frankie snuggling.  Kylie at 3 months old and Frankie is six years old in this photo.

When I brought Kylie home as a pup I couldn’t resist getting this photo of her above with Frankie.  They were almost the same size, but I knew that would not last for very long…

Kylie at six months old, & the last photo I have of the two of them before Frankie was diagnosed with IVDD

After Frankie’s diagnoses of Intevertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) over four years ago I could never allow Kylie and Frankie to play together without supervision. For some reason Kylie was very rough with Frankie when she was in her wheelchair, almost as if she thought Frankie was a toy.  It was heart breaking to not have them snuggle together for fear of Kylie possibly reinjuring Frankie’s back.

Frankie is now able to scoot when not in her doggie wheelchair, and actually can hop like a rabbit, which she typically does when it is time to eat (she loves to eat!).  She has made great progress in her mobility since her diagnoses of IVDD in 2006.  She still needs her wheelchair for walks and school, and therapy dog visits that we do, but when home, she gets around pretty well on her own without the use of her wheelchair.

Kylie turned five years old this past October.  Maybe she has mellowed a bit with age, but all of a sudden she is much calmer around Frankie.  Another thing I discovered is if Frankie is not in her wheelchair, Kylie is not as rough with her.  So over the past few months they have started to hang out together.

Getting this photo (below) of them brought tears to my eyes and such joy to see them so happy snuggling together.  Looking at them together made my heart grow three times its size!

The love of our pets in all its forms truly brings me so much joy…

How have your pets brought you joy lately?


Saying Goodbye to Two Dear Animal Friends: Part Two

On Tuesday I shared the loss of a very special Maine Coon cat, named Sunshine.  He was my mom’s cat, but was very much a part of my life.  Click here to read about Sunshine.

Today I share my memories of Kirby, a dachshund with much character, and who also happened to be Frankie’s boyfriend.  He left us for the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, January 17th.

Kirby stayed with our family often, while his family went on vacation.  He was a dog with a lot of spunk and you could see it the minute you were in his presence.

He could do the “stay” commandment with just his stance and a look that had my 100 lb. lab, Kylie stay right where she was laying as he pranced by.

Every time he’d come bounding through the front door, after putting Kylie in her stay position, he’d charge after the love of his life, Frankie.  After much playing and chasing, they’d often settle down to nap only as wiener dogs can do.


Kirby was a big part of our family… and yes, I even forgave his Dad for being a Viking fan.  And it was lucky for Kirby he was so cute that I did not object to his daily walks when with me, outfitted in his Viking harness and leash.

My husband John and Kirby had a special connection and we often referred to Kirby as “the little man.”  In a houseful of all girls, John always welcomed Kirby for a visit to feel not so out numbered.

Many summers on the weekends Frankie and Kirby would hang out on the deck soaking up the sun. Frankie would settle in and roll over with her belly pointing to the sky.  But, Kirby, well he had to be on patrol, keeping watch over the backyard in case of another intruder.  He wanted nothing to happen to his best girl, Frankie.

It won’t be the same not having Kirby come to visit, but like Sunshine, we feel so very blessed to have known Kirby and that his parents entrusted us to care for him like our own.

Thank you, Kirby for being the best boyfriend a wiener dog girl could ever ask for.  We know we will all meet again someday… and I will be so happy to hug you again.  Thanks for being our friend.