Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog

Photo: Legacy Studios

Frankie became paralyzed at the age of six from a fall and a diagnoses of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). She was custom-fitted for a wheelchair from Eddie’s Wheels. Nothing was going to stop this little dog with much zest and a huge spirit. Her wheelchair simply a tool to help her live a full, happy, quality of life!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo inspired was I by her that I wrote two children’s books about her and a memoir about our journey together. She has inspired thousands of children and our motto: “always be positive, make a difference, and keep on rolling.”

Her role as a therapy dog, visiting monthly a local hospital in Wisconsin, senior assisted alzheimer’s facility, and hospice, she provided many hours of love and joy for those in need. She was inducted into the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame in 2009.

Her story also appears in many other books written about the animal-human bond, many magazines, countless blogs and radio shows.

After a full life of encouraging and inspiring many around the world, she passed away on June 21, 2012 at the age of twelve—two months shy of her thirteenth birthday.


PrintIn memory of Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog and in honor of ALL wheelchair dogs around the world, I founded National Walk ‘N Roll Dog Day in August 2012, which is celebrated every September 22. Our Facebook page is a daily inspiration of featured wheelchair dogs you don’t want to miss!

The Frankie Wheelchair Fund was also established. Over 38 dogs with mobility challenges have been granted a wheelchair because of the contributions from many over the years. The fund continues today and you can learn more and/or donate here.frankie wheelchair fund logo

Frankie’s legacy also lives on in a very special place in Sheboygan, Wisconsin called Bookworm Gardensbarb-and-frankie-bwg—gardens connecting nature with literature to enrich children’s lives.

You can read my special tribute to her and a  full press release written in her memory.

14 Responses

  1. You are SO RIGHT in your saying that the heart CAN always open again! An unopened heart is a very sad thing, but I’m so grateful for all the Dachshunds who have shown us that, after we’ve suffered a loss!

  2. I was fortunate enough to arrive at ‘Joyful Paws’ while surfing for pet animal related information, and I really appreciated what I read about ‘Frankie’ and the ‘Walk ‘n Roll Dog legacy. It’s so sad, and meaningful at the same time.

    I had a Yorkshire Terrier called ‘Bobbie’ more than 20 years ago and still miss her today.

    We have 5 cats at this time (Jack, Magic, Izzie, Ruben, and Bambina.), having lost Charlie and Tommy in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

    Our animals have been great comfort to my husband, myself, and our daughter Melanie over the years, and we’ve learned a lot from them all. We love them being around.

    Best wishes,
    Eileen Molloy

    1. Welcome, Elieen and happy you arrived on my website. I’m so happy to know of your comfort you get from your sweet pets– it makes life so amazing and wonderful, dosen’t it? I look forward to having you follow along on my blog!

  3. Barbara, somehow I stopped reading your blog last year, and just now learned that Frankie passed away last year.. As the momma of two doxies, I was touched so much by Frankie and her “attitude” about going on with life, no matter what obstacles we face.
    Thank you for sharing her story, and for continuing though her legacy!
    My sincere condolences for your loss <3
    Kim Smith

    1. Hi Kim,
      Thank you so much for stopping by once again. I appreciate your condolences on the loss of my sweet Frankie. I’ll always miss her, but also will always be so grateful for all she brought to my life.

      This past October, I adopted another special needs dog like Frankie. I got her from the Oregon Dachshund Rescue. Her name is Joie – pronounced Joey. She is a real sweetheart.

      She is carrying on Frankie’s legacy in her own unique way and I love her to bits!

      Hope you stop by again!


  4. So Sorry for your loss. I read Through Frankies Eyes.God Bless you and your family, for the loss of Joie also.Im an RN. When i come home from work, my dogs give me such comfort. My husband is retired and enjoys being with them all day.Thank you for all you do,

    JoAnne LaBarba, Bethlehem,Pa.

  5. Hi, I only wish I would have heard about this when Sadie was becoming paralized. (in 2008) She was my best friend, I think about her everyday and miss her so much. The doctor’s only suggested an operation that would cost up to $6000.00. I faced the fact of losing my best friend in the next couple of days because, I just didn’t have that much money. It was the hardest decision I ever made. I just cried while I told her how much she meant to me and thanked her for coming into my life (I’m crying even now.) I held her for her last minutes on this earth. We buried her behind the house when we arrived home. Not sure when the pain of losing her will end. She was a gift from God, my own little angel. I have never meant anyone else how would understand the lose of losing a Dachshund with the issue she had. I feel guilty that I didn’t do enough for her. Thank you for having this website. Tina

  6. Barbara, I read through frankie’s eyes & it was so inspirational the way you loved, cared & grieved for Frankie I am a mini-dox owner myself & I adore her. God Bless You I’m sure Frankie is running free over the Rainbow Bridge

  7. Just read your book and loved it. Of course cried when I learned Frankie died. I am an animal/doxie lover. I have 5 doxies of my own. Lost one on Dec. 12th, 2014 and it is heartbreaking. I’d have a dozen if I could. I bought two as puppies and rescued 4 of them. They are all adorable in their own way but nothing compares to the adoration from those I rescued. I am currently on vacation in Alaska so I will sign up for your newsletter when I get home and plan to purchase your childrens book series even tho I’m a senior. Thanks for you
    very wonderful book for your journey with sweet, sweet Frankie. Mary Jean from Arizona

    1. Thank you so much Mary Jean, for your kind note. I so appreciate hearing how my book touches readers. I’m so sorry for the loss of one of your doxie’s last December. I hope you are enjoying your vacation. A dear friend of mine lives in Alaska. I’d love to visit her there someday. I think you will enjoy my children’s books also – many adults have told me they do. 🙂 Let me know what you think once you read them – I’d love to know! Take good care, -Barbara 🙂

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