Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Frankie's Mom: An Inspiring Story...

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I'd like to introduce you to another guest. It's the story of Frankie's Mom and what they do together. Hope her story will inspire you. :)

FEATURED GUEST: Barbara Techel

My moment of truth and wanting to live authentically began painfully for me. But the good news is what blossomed from pain set me on an incredible journey.

My pain came from the diagnoses of terminal bone cancer in my 9-year old chocolate lab, Cassie Jo. She was one of the loves of my life. The news devastated me. After accepting her condition, my life took a different path.

A life coach helped me realize I needed to write about what I loved. You guessed it. I wrote about animals. At the same time, I decided to train my new lab puppy to become a therapy dog. I was excited to see where that would lead. And think of all the new stories I would have to write.

Pain entered my life again only nine short months after the loss of Cassie Jo. My six year old dachshund, Frankie suffered a spinal injury and became permanently paralyzed. I found myself constantly asking “Why”. I hate to admit it, but I did feel sorry for myself too.

But I took strength in what I had learned from Cassie Jo and knew I had to look for the blessing in the challenge Frankie faced. Once I surrendered, the answer came to me clear as a bell.

Frankie’s children’s book told in her voice was the answer. Sharing her story of walking and now rolling would help children facing their own challenges. We would teach them, through Frankie’s example, that each challenge is given so they can learn and grow. We would encourage them to look for positive choices. Frankie’s story not only helped children, her story healed me too.

Frankie was a natural with the children. While witnessing her work, I realized that Frankie had another role to play—therapy dog! My puppy had a long way to go before she could be certified, but not Frankie.

Forward Frankie and I rolled. We became a registered therapy dog team. Visiting nursing homes, hospital and hospice patients meant I was living with a newfound joy and meaning.

Living authentically does not mean you won’t face hurdles in your life. But for me, having a solid footing in who I am and who I want to be makes navigating those hurdles a bit easier. I understand each hurdle means I am being given a gift. It is a gift to grow and explore more of who I can become!

I give complete credit to my four-legged pals who taught me to pay attention to what animals teach us about life.


Barbara Techel is the author of "Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog,” a 2008 National Best Book awarded by USA Book News. Frankie’s story is a true, inspirational story about the author’s dachshund. After suffering a spinal injury, Frankie was paralyzed. She is now custom fit for a wheelchair and has learned to keep on rolling. Barbara’s book has also been nominated by Dog Writer’s of America for the Merial Animal-Human Bond Award. Frankie was also recently nominated for the Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame. Visit Barbara at http://www.joyfulpaws.com/ and watch Frankie’s inspirational video.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I know Frankie! And Frankie's mom. They have great blogs and I believe their mission is rewarding in so many ways. Thanks for featuring them, Allyn

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers
Blogging at www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

Prill Boyle said...

I, too, know Barbara and Frankie. Love hearing more details about their story!

Bet h Blair said...

What an endearing story! I just started reading Joyful Paws and am really enjoy it. I look forward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful and inspiring story.....thank you Allyn for finding and sharing her story with us!