Authors and Technology- The Future is Now Blog Talk Radio

Join me Monday, August 1st, 2011 as Dr. Barbara Holstein interviews about my success in sharing my books and message of hope with classrooms across the US and Canada via Skype.

This show invites experts intechnology to discuss the future, which is happening now.  In this show

Barbara Techel, award-winning author of the Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog book series will be sharing how she has used technology such as Skype, and how you can too!. She has shared her story of hope and inspiration about her dachshund, Frankie, who is in a wheelchair, with thousands of children and adults since 2007. To date they have made over 300 appearances in Wisconsin and many more via Skype to classrooms across the US and Canada. Barbara is also a speaker and publisher. Barbara and Frankie are avid volunteers as a therapy dog team. They routinely visit a local hospice community, hospital and senior assisted living facility, where they “walk their talk” about the inspirational nature of perseverance in the face of challenge.

Remember, authors will be virtually entering schools, libraries, book clubs, businesses, etc. beyond our wildest dreams.  They will be using Skype and other means to reach people around the world, including e-books, webinars, teleclasses and processes that have yet to materialize. 

Authors need to be ready, as the future is now.  Please join us


Green Bay Gazette: Author Shares Uplifting Story of Wheelchair Dog

Thank you to the Green Bay Gazette for the wonderful write up of our recent visit to Kress Family Library in DePere, Wisconsin.

Reprinted from Green Bay Gazette

Author Barbara Techel’s wheelchair-bound miniature dachshund Frankie rests her head on the table as Techel reads one of her award-winning books at the Kress Family Library Branch in De Pere on Friday. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette

Author Barbara Techel simply wants to uplift children through her books.

The self-proclaimed animal lover spent time on Friday at the Kress Family Branch Library in De Pere doing just that with her words — and with an adorable assist from her canine companion.

Frankie, an 11-year-old miniature dachshund, is the inspiration for Techel’s series of children’s books that promote positive attitudes. “Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog” and “Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Therapy Dog Visits Libby’s House,” tell how the dog overcame a major medical challenge and has been spreading joy to others ever since.

“Frankie’s story is so uplifting,” said Techel, who lives in Elkhart Lake. “Even faced with a hardship, she has remained positive.”

Five years ago, Frankie ruptured a disk in her back, leaving her confined to a dog cart. Not knowing how her dog was going to respond to being unable to walk on all four paws, Techel was pleasantly surprised at Frankie’s willingness to continue as if nothing had happened.

“Frankie was really challenged as she was put into a wheelchair. Despite that, her spirits remained positive,” she said.

Already an author by the time Frankie began to have medical problems, Techel was inspired by the dog to share her story through children’s books. The two of them have made more than 300 visits to schools, libraries and organizations in Wisconsin to help encourage children and adults to overcome adversity.

After the reading at the library, there was a long line of children waiting to talk with Techel, purchase books, and of course, pet Frankie.

“I wanted to take Frankie home with me,” said 7-year-old Venna VanRemortr. “It was really good.”

VanRemortr and her older sister, Athena, come to the summer readings at the library with their grandmother Sybil Warner. This time, they say they were happy to be able to interact with the dog.

“We loved it,” Warner said. “She was so articulate when reading, and it all flowed nicely.”

— kmccrae@greenbaypressgazette .com and follow her on Twitter @PGKelcieMcCrae


In Memory of Savard, Therapy Dog Extraordinaire of

I was very saddened to receive an email over the weekend from my friend, Laura, who is the founder and director of an extraordinary therapy dog company in Wisconsin called, Health Heelers.  She started her work with therapy dogs because of her beloved Savard.  He passed away on Monday, July 11th.  Laura sent out this tribute about her amazing, beautiful boy and I asked her if I could share with my readers. She was honored, so I share her tribute below.  Thank you, Savard for your dedication and love to so many… you will be very much missed.

Monday, July 11th, 2011~ part of my spirit died that day . . .

Undoubtedly one of the most difficult days in my life,  I said so-long to the most incredible creature I have ever had the honor to share life with; Savard, our beloved German Shepherd.

I owe Savard much credit for who I am and what I do; for it is because of Savard that I was able to create my passion in the form of Health Heelers.

Savard loved everybody and everything!

Unfortunately, Savard was a very misunderstood dog when he came into our home as an adopted, untrained juvenile in 1998.  His delight and over exuberance for everything was a challenge! Could he ever become a therapy dog?!?!?! Fortunately, I consulted with some of the best in the dog behavior field including Suzanne Clothier, world-renowned behavior and German Shepherd expert. I learned that Savard’s behavior was out of sheer enthusiasm and zest for all that was good and all that he could make more joyful. Suzanne’s assessment made me realize how much more I needed to learn. My error inspired me to earn over 100 credit hours at seminars and workshops on dog behavior and dog training as I continue my quest for knowledge so that I may be a strong advocate for all of the therapy dogs in my programs.


Savard, Laura and Suzanne

Savard did become what I and many others consider a ‘Master’ therapy dog; unbelievably calm and incredibly steady & tolerant, and always with a smile for his ‘patient’. And it was Savard that made me realize the tremendous impact a dog like him, so full of joy and compassion, could make to people outside the walls of the health care facility where I’d started our first animal-assisted therapy program, because in 2005 Savard spent time entertaining children and comforting adults displaced to Wisconsin after they’d experienced the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. Witnessing the “unweighting” that seemed to happen to them as a result of his presence, I began to think of more ways that I could use my education in Animal Assisted Therapy to bring the benefits of therapy animals to far more people than just those in health care institutions. Health Heelers became official that year.



Savard also had a great sense of humor! He knew how to make us laugh and smile. Throughout his life he frequently demonstrated his affinity for making arrangements out of the pet food dishes and toys~ dozens of them; and would even create arrangements when I asked him to!


(the arrangements of the red rings, Savard made by selecting those 3 objects from his basket of 28 various toys and other objects including the yellow, green and blue fisher-price rings)

Mostly though, my Joy Boy, Savard taught me how completely, fully and deeply creatures of two different species can care for, learn from, love and support one another to lead lives that provide service and compassion to others.

I know it’s an overused cliché, but Savard was truly my most special, one in a million dog. I will forever be grateful for all that he taught me and all that he gave. He was my heart.


Thank you, Savard! I love you so. ~Laura