Joyful Paws: Life with a Disabled Dachshund

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When her little lady dachshund Frankie became permanently paralyzed, Barb turned what could have been seen as a tragedy into a triumph. Facing a dachshund owner’s worst fear, Barb learned from Frankie’s relentless joy and excitement and the two have risen to great heights, bringing happiness and life lessons into the lives of many by sharing the story of Frankie’s happy ending.

Leave a comment for Barb on this post for your chance to win a copy of her heartwarming children’s book, Frankie the walk ‘n roll dog, which she has generously donated so we can share it with you. We’ll announce the winner on October 31!

Please give her a very warm welcome and thanks so much Barb for sharing this post with us!

I must be honest. Caring for a disabled pet at the beginning was daunting and overwhelming. I think one of the hardest things was hoping I was doing everything within my power I knew to do, financially and emotionally. I wanted to help my dachshund Frankie, who ruptured a disk her back and is now in a wheelchair, as best I could.

Frankie does not have control of her bladder and bowels. Getting used to poop and potty here, there and everywhere at first just about did me in. One day after cleaning up another mess, I decided to change my thoughts about it and I literally said out loud to myself, “There are worse things in life than poop!” From that day on acceptance took over. Acceptance gave me the patience to focus on the timing of her bathroom habits and things became much easier.

I am a person who listens to many motivational and inspirational speakers. Learning from all I’ve heard, I decided to look for the blessing in our situation. I realized Frankie was teaching me any challenge I faced could be overcome by looking for a positive solution. She never felt sorry for herself and over came adversity with grace and dignity. She also easily accepted her new way of getting around by scooting at first and then learning to roll in her wheelchair. She is still the same sweet Frankie she has always been. Nothing about her changed, except for not having use of her back legs. She faces each day with enthusiasm and joy.

Yes, Frankie’s paralysis was an adjustment, but the blessing of it is that she helped me find my life’s purpose, which led me to writing her story in the form of a children’s book. We now share our lessons learned by visiting schools, nursing homes and hospitals showing others disabled dogs can live quality lives and anyone can overcome challenges with a positive attitude.

To watch a video of Frankie please visit our website at
Frankie still enjoys a good roll in the grass 🙂

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About the Author: Terri Osterfeld

I'm a certifiable dachshund fanatic and lover of anything that involves doxies. I have four -- Rommel, Franzi, Montgomery and Hank -- plus two German Shepherds, Noet and Sunna, who think they're dachshunds.

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