Honoring and celebrating dogs in wheelchairs
who teach us to embrace each day with love, hope and joy
Elkhart Lake, Wis. (May 13, 2013– Award-winning author Barbara Techel announces the recognition of National Walk ’n Roll Dog Day (NWNRDD) as an official American observance. Techel created NWNRDD last August in memory of her beloved late dachshund, Frankie, and in honor of all wheelchair dogs around the world. Techel became an advocate for dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and dogs in wheelchairs after Frankie became paralyzed following an IVDD diagnoses. Working to return Frankie’s quality of life, Techel realized that dogs in wheelchairs can live long, rich, happy lives if given the chance.
Techel went on to write three nonfiction children’s books featuring Frankie, now known nationally as the original “Walk ’n Roll Dog,” and spread the positive word about overcoming challenges through school and library appearances with the little red dog in her wheelchair. Frankie became much beloved by children, teachers and librarians alike. Though Frankie rolled on to the Big Backyard last June, Techel now does virtual appearances with Joie (pronounced Joey), another wheelchair dachshund and Frankie’s successor in advocating for IVDD dogs and overcoming life’s challenges.
“We shouldn’t take pity on pets who lose their mobility,” says Techel, “but instead, celebrate and embrace their perseverance against adversity.” Her way of celebrating Frankie’s memory was founding this new observance day to continue to bring positive awareness to all dogs in wheelchairs.
NWNRDD was officially designated on April 16, 2013, thanks in part to all those who have joined the community of supporters Techel has built online and off. She encourages those members to help spread the message about this positive and uplifting day of celebration by sharing with their networks. “If you have a dog in a wheelchair or just support them, we welcome your photo and story posts on our official observance page at https://www.facebook.com/NationalWalknRollDogDay. We love hearing about other wheelchair dogs—it’s what we’re all about!”
To help families with dogs in need of wheelchairs but who may not be able to afford one, or dogs in rescue who need a wheelchair, Techel established The Frankie Wheelchair Fund last year. The fund began as a memorial to Frankie, and to date has helped fourteen small dogs get wheelchairs. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Techel’s “Frankie the Walk ’N Roll Dog” children’s book series, and from her recently published adult inspirational memoir, “Through Frankie’s Eyes,” benefits this fund. Learn more about Techel’s books at joyfulpaws.com/books.
Those interested in contributing directly to the fund may visit the official observance website at nationalwalknrolldogday.com, or click on the Contribute button on its Facebook page. The Frankie Fund is not a non-profit entity so donations are not tax-deductible, but Techel will send donors a letter of thanks, acknowledging their generous contributions. “We’re also planning fundraisers to benefit the Frankie Wheelchair Fund, so stay tuned to the Web page for updates,” she says.
Those whose dog has Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) are urged to check out dodgerslist.com. This is an organization dedicated to helping people whose pets have this disease. IVDD is not a death sentence and your dog can live a long, happy quality life despite it, so please visit them today. Those with a rescue dog in need of a wheelchair, or private citizens facing financial difficulties, may fill out an application for consideration of help at nationalwalknrolldogday.com, as well.
“Frankie the Walk ’n Roll Dog’s legacy lives on in this special day,” says Techel, with pride. “Her motto also lives on in the thousands of young and young-at-heart we met during more than 400 appearances we did from 2007-2012. As Frankie reminds readers of her children’s book series: Always be positive, make a difference, and…keep on rolling!
MEDIA: You may download high resolution images of the event logo and of the author and her dog Frankie from http://joyfulpaws.com/press/
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