Little Did We Know…It was All Aligned in the Stars


It was already in the making, aligned in the stars, this moment of serendipity that would take a few years before it made itself known.

Walking alone in the vast, vacant cement parking structure, I realized I was sweating even though it was chilly for March. It was a cold, nervous sweat.

I don’t like to travel alone or stay in a hotel by myself for that matter. Somewhat of a homebody, I feel better tucked into my own surroundings.

But this was important to me. I had to be here, even if it meant going by myself again and not knowing anyone.

As I made my way closer to the door I saw another lone solider heading in the same direction.

We smiled at each other.

She said, “Are you by chance going to the writer’s conference?”

“I am.” I said.

“Do you mind if I walk with you? I’m not sure where to go.”

“That would be great. I was here last year, but still get nervous coming to these things by myself,” I said.

I was relieved and excited all at the same time to have a writing kindred spirit beside me as we navigated our way through the large building.

“My name is Abby.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Abby. My name is Barbara.”

One thing led to another as we talked about, well, what else? Writing!

Having just published my first children’s book two months prior, Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog, I shared with Abby that it was about my dachshund who was in a wheelchair.

Her face lit up and she said, “I have a dachshund named Ernie!”

Before I knew it all my nervous energy fell away.

Any chance to talk with a fellow lover of the the short-legged, oftentimes comical, loyal and lovable breed of doxie’s is a joyous occasion. And to combine it with talking about writing, well, I was floating on a cloud.

We could have talked doxie’s and writing through the whole 3-day conference, missing out on all the classes.

But we were both eager to learn all we could about writing and publishing so we contained ourselves the best we could and not getting too carried away.

Abby would end up asking me for a signed copy of my book, which I just happened  to have a few copies with me. She said she was excited to share Frankie’s story with her kids.

We parted ways after the conference, promising to keep in touch. Lucky for us, Facebook was really beginning to be the trend for staying connected and we promised to “look each other up.”

It would be two years later when I got an email from Abby.

Ernie wasn’t able to move his back legs. While Abby feared it was Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) she was also relieved to know she could reach out to me for advice.

Having been through this with Frankie in 2006, I was able to provide her with helpful information and options.

But what most people want when their beloved pet becomes paralyzed, is to know there is hope.

I could give her that and reassure her.

And that serendipitous moment came flashing into my mind when we met two years before, walking through the cold and damp, cold parking garage.

It was serendipity that brought us together, but I also happen to believe that Spirit aligned it all perfectly…

All perfectly put in place to help Abby, and her kids who could go on loving and having fun with their beloved Ernie.

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And for me to give back in a way that to this day gives me much joy when I can give hope to someone whose dog is diagnosed with IVDD.

And best of all, Ernie just celebrated his 11th birthday with this message Abby tagged me on via her Facebook page:

Happy 11th birthday to Ernie Dog! We’re so glad we’ve been able to give him 5 more years of happy life after his injury (and probably several more, with his stubborn streak!), thanks to a serendipitous meeting with Barbara Techel before it happened, who showed us what wheelie dogs are capable of!

Happy, Happy Birthday dear Ernie! Warms my heart to be a part of your beautiful journey. Keep on rolling!

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Wednesdays With the Wisdom of Dog: Just Be.


This is part of a weekly series of lessons I’ve learned from my dogs, and/or something I feel they are trying to teach us. I welcome your thoughts on any of the lessons or teachings that resonate with you.

Dog has the answer for we humans who can sometimes become so obsessed with doing, striving, and achieving. They are witness to how oftentimes this leaves human exhausted and looking like they are lost.

Find a quiet place to sit. Perhaps under a tree. Now just be. There is nothing to do and it’s okay. Feel that? A slowing down of your heart beat? A wave of calm wash over your frazzled nerves?

You are a human being. So just be. Practice at least once a day for 5-10 minutes and you will understand the secret of Dog. I double dog dare you.

Should you enjoy the writing you find here, you may wish to subscribe to my newsletter (on right hand side of post) or my RSS Feed. I’d love it if you would also share through your favorite social media network. Thanks for visiting!