May 6, 2013

Monday Mischief: Poop Happens - a Guest Post

Today on the blog, we have a very special guest post from friend and fellow author, Barbara Techel. In her new book, part memoir and inspirational, Through Frankie's Eyes: One Woman's Journey to Her Authentic Self, and the Dog on Wheels Who Led the Way, Barbara takes us on the journey that led her to live her own truth and live with more joy, all because of what her Dachshund, Frankie, was teaching her along the way.

I read Barbara's wonderful book and I'll share with you the review I wrote on Amazon:
As the subtitle states, Through Frankie's Eyes takes you along as author Barbara Techel seeks her "authentic self." There was much in this book I could relate to. Like Techel, I, too, was late to figuring out what I wanted to be/do with my life. I also have struggled with worrying too much about what others think and have wondered if I was normal because I preferred "fur kids" over the real kind. I've also had a dog with bone cancer, and I've learned so many important life lessons from my own dogs. If you see yourself in any other those situations (and haven't so many of us at one time or another struggled with finding our purpose in life?), I think you'll also enjoy this tale or a woman's wonderful journey with an adorable little dog who teaches her so much about living life to the fullest. (Have a tissue or two handy!)
So, without further apoo - I mean, ado! - take it away, Barbara:

Poop Happens

Sweet Joie
Whether your dog walks on all four paws, or needs a little help like my Dachshund, Joie (pronounced Joey), who has a dog wheelchair, we can all relate to the delicate matter of talking about, err, um, well… poop!  There, I said it!

My first Dachshund, Frankie, became paralyzed at the age of six. She was diagnosed with a common disease in the breed called Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).  Little did I know after she ruptured a disc, and then surgery that might help her walk again, what lay ahead for me in taking care of her.

After her surgery when talking with the veterinarian technician via phone I heard the words, “You will need to learn to express Frankie’s bladder.” I wondered, what in the world did that mean?

Because of her paralysis, this is the side effect to IVDD. They are not able to feel when they have to go. I would soon learn that pressing gently on either side of Frankie’s bladder would expel the urine from her little body.
Frankie, the walk n' roll dog
Now poop?  Well, that is another matter all-together! Timing is everything and means either finding “gifts” around the house, or getting her over the toilet in time for those little buggers to plop into.

In the beginning I nearly lost my mind as I could not figure out the timing of when she had to go #1 or #2, to be polite in describing her frequent messes. Eventually I decided to change my attitude about her daily duties and trust that all would work out. Once I did that, things seemed to get a bit easier.

That is, until one day I had her in to see an acupuncturist.  All went well with the treatment and Frankie was feeling quite relaxed. I picked her up and held her in my right arm like I often did, as if carrying a football, with my purse slung over my shoulder.

I made my way to the counter to pay for the one hour treatment.  As I glanced into my purse to get my checkbook, I wondered what it was I was seeing in the crease of my checkbook cover. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a small turd. Yup, there it was, lodged into the crease (and just so you know, it’s hard for me to even type the word turd, much less say it- it just seems so un-lady like)!

Being the brave dog mom I am, without saying a word, I gently shook the little guy to the side, took out my checkbook, wrote the check, handed it to the receptionist, and proceeded to the front door.

The minute I was outside, I erupted into laughter! I couldn’t help but think there aren’t too many people out there who can say they’ve found poop in their purse. Tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard I got in my car and immediately called my husband. We laughed for what seemed like forever. 

I share this story in my recent memoir, Through Frankie’s Eyes. Since its release I have heard from others about their IVDD dogs and the places they have also found unexpected “tootsie rolls.” 

One woman shared with me that at a dinner party, after uncorking several bottles of wine it was time to re-cork one of the bottles they didn’t finish. The lighting was not all that bright and they couldn’t find the cork. One of her guests began feeling along the floor. He came up with what they thought was the cork, but was actually a petrified turd.  

Another lady wrote to me sharing that one morning as she was doing some things around her home she kept smelling poop.  She couldn’t find it anywhere!  She knew it was likely her paralyzed little guy had gone somewhere, but she just couldn’t seem to find where the smell was coming from. Just as she was about to give up, she put her hand into her robe pocket.  The mystery was solved…and it seems like another Dachshund has good aim just like Frankie!

Before having an IVDD dog if someone would have told me these stories, I would have been horrified. But it is one of those things I’ve learned to move past, and instead focus on all the joy and blessings Frankie brought me, and now Joie. I just wouldn’t trade that for anything!  And luckily, when you have a small dog, well, one can certainly deal with those little buggers no matter where they decide to show up next.

Do you have a funny poop story?  Please do share!

To learn more about Barbara you can find her online here:

About Barbara
Barbara Techel is a passionate advocate for dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and dogs in wheelchairs. She is also passionate about helping others see their challenges in a positive way. After her dachshund, Frankie suffered a spinal injury she was custom-fitted for a wheelchair and Barbara realized the beautiful opportunity she had to spread a positive message that animals with disabilities can and do live quality lives if given a chance.

In addition to writing Through Frankie's Eyes, in August 2012, Barbara founded National Walk 'N Roll Dog Day in memory of Frankie and in honor of all dogs in wheelchairs. She also started the Frankie Wheelchair Fund which helps dogs who need wheelchairs whose families may not be able to afford them, or for dogs in rescue. To date she has helped fifteen dogs get wheelchairs.

She is the award-winning author of the children's book series Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog which are true, inspirational stories about her paralyzed dachshund. Frankie teaches us that no matter our challenges, we can persevere with a positive attitude. And despite our challenges we can each give back in our own, unique way. Frankie is Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame Companion Dog.

Barbara and Frankie have been featured in Woman’s World, and countless other magazines and articles on line.

When not writing or sharing Frankie’s mission she loves spending time with her new “walk ‘n roll dog” Joie, her English Lab Kylie, and husband John. She also practices yoga daily, enjoys reading, and relishes in the simple things of life.

Happy Monday Mischief!

49 comments:

  1. Thank you, Jackie for hosting me on your wonderful blog! I loved that you said after your review, " Without further apoo." cute!

    -Barbara

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    1. Thank you for such a great post. Such funny stories, and I love all the euphemisms you used for poop!

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  2. we will see if we can find this book on our kindle....
    stella rose

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    1. Thank you stellaroselong-- my book is available through Amazon for the Kindle. Enjoy!

      Barbara

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  3. Gorgeous dogs and the book sure sounds cute our late pug bingo used a wheelchair for the 2 yrs he was with us he was a senior hospice foster wheelchairs for dogs r a great thing
    Urban hounds

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    1. Thank you tubby3pug! I guess I'm a bit bias, but I think they are pretty cute too. How wonderful your late pug Bingo was able to use a wheelchair also. They sure can provide a quality of life. Thanks for stopping by!
      -Barbara

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    2. Yes, wheelchairs are great. I've known of many dogs who've benefited from them since I know so many 3-legged dog owners from our experience with Abby. Once a pup is already down a leg, if another one goes, a wheelchair is a great option.

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  4. What a fantastic post. It is amazing what challenges we can deal with and what those trials teach us. Thank you for such a lovely piece.

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    1. Thank you, Samantha! Yes, one certainly does have to look for the positive side of things.

      -Barbara

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  5. Being a Cardigan owner, a breed unfortunately very prone to IVDD, I've heard lots of anecdotes.

    But, unrelated to IVDD/paralysis, I do have a very funny poop story! When my 1st Cardi, Dylan, was a young dog, I had a house guest over that was not fond of dogs (how is that even possible?!). So to make things easier, I put Dylan in the bathroom for the visit. (This was back in the days before I knew about crate training....). When the visit came to an end, I went to get Dylan for a walk. I could see the remnants of a bar of soap on the floor. It had been a full bar when I closed him in there. Yikes. This made poor Dylan very thirsty and he sucked down a bowl of water in no time. I called the vet, worried I had poisoned him as it was a deodorant bar. They said it would most likely be OK and that back in "the olden days", they used to worm dogs by feeding them soap on purpose. They also said I would soon find out what they meant. Sure enough, a short while later, Dylan wanted to go out BADLY! I didn't get far out the back door before he assumed the position. He strained for a moment or two, and then one lone solid turd fired about a foot out of his butt, jet-propelled by a huge puddle of soap suds! The poor dog took several more soapy poops, leaving him clean as a whistle inside and seemed to have no other side effects! I've felt guilty about that ever since!

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    1. OMD, I knew the bubbles were coming but did not foresee the jet-propelled poop! What a riot.

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  6. Omg, Taryn! This was a very funny poop story! Even before I read what would happen I expected soap bubbles to be a part of the ending. And no doubt, he sure was clean inside and out! Thanks for the laugh and for sharing!

    -Barbara

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  7. Omigoodness. What great poop stories. :) I was just hoping and praying that the petrified poo wasn't actually inserted into the wine bottle.

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    1. I was a little worried about where that poop-as-cork story was going as well! :)

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    2. Flea, I completely understand as that is what I thought when I first read the email from the woman sharing this story with me! -Barbara

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  8. That is a great review and we too are amazed at how we can learn from the challenges life throws at us. Nice one. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. Our pups teach us so much! In good times and in bad.

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    2. They indeed teach us alot if we are open to receive their divine wisdom. -Barbara

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  9. Poop mischief is the worst mischief when it's happening - but is usually the funniest once it's over! :)
    Loved the post!

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  10. I don't have a poop story to share, but Barbara also shared her book with me and I am also inspired by all she does for animals who need a little extra understanding. Of course,the dogs help heal us too! It is great to read about her journey in Through Frankie's Eyes. And the book cover couldn't be cuter!

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    1. I know - the book cover is so adorable!

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    2. Thank you, Peggy! Another wonderful dog friend in you I've made because of my work! -Barbara

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  11. I have a poop story too. I shared it on the blog looong ago - it was 3 days after Abby's amputation and her first post-op poop. Since my new book includes a dog that is based on Abby, I even put it in the book. :)
    http://poochsmooches.blogspot.com/2010/11/rough-night-chaotic-morning-but-great.html

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  12. Jackie, I loved reading your blog today and seeing all these happy puppy faces! I LOVE WHAT THE DOG ATE! It's on the blog tomorrow! When is your new book? xoxo cindy & Sassy

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    1. So glad you enjoyed, Cindy! I'm anxious for Jackie's new book too.

      -Barbara

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    2. Thanks, Cindy! Looking forward to seeing your post tomorrow about What the Dog Ate. :)

      The new book is a fictionalized version of my 3-legged dog, but she's plopped down in the story of a 38-yr-old loner. I don't really have a good 2-line blurb for the story yet, but basically a "who rescued who" story.

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  13. You can't meet a dog person without eventually getting to hear a poop story, huh?

    I'm always looking for book marks around the house. But I think I'll pass on joie's solution for now. :)

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    1. Yep - especially in the 'cancer dog' circles I've traveled in. Poop is a big topic there!

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  14. Funny stories. I can't imagine finding a "gift" in my handbag. One thing about having larger dogs, you are not likely to mistake "it" for a wine cork....lol.

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    1. Well, there's an advantage of having a big dog! LOL.

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  15. Ok, so I am gonna have to get this book on my kindle now too! If you've had pups all your life you can certainly relate! I used to be worried a little of what people thought until I went to work ALL day with spit-up from my daughter (a LOT of it) in a huge blob on my back and nobody ever said a word all day, now I have gone in with Max fur in rather curious places and at least my co-workers now just point and laugh! :) Another old co-worker, I had to tell discreetly, smelled like cat piss (we were good friends)...turned out the inside of her purse was FULL of it! Great post!

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    1. Oh my, that must have been a hard subject to bring up. Goodness! But, hey - that's what friends are for! :)

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  16. There has been poop in my purse before. I am not beyond slipping a full bag in there until I get to a trash can :)

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    1. Funny. I've found Rita's bone in my purse before, but never poop. Not yet anyway...

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  17. Frankie is soooo cute!!!! I think I have seenhimbefore, I swear I have. This looks like a excellent book, and the cover is so so so cute, I wouldn't be able to help but pick that one up! And you have your own book " what the dog ate!" that looks awesome will be checking it out!

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    1. Isn't the cover so cute!? Thanks for stopping by the blog!

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  18. Lol! What a great story!! I've had a few little pups land turds in my pockets at work too:)

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    1. I'm sure that's a fairly common occupational hazard when you work at a vet's office! :)

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  19. Too funny. Our dog Tino, a shep-mix rescue would always backup into a bush to go #2. One day we were out of the house for an unexpected long period and worried both our dogs couldn't hold it. We got home and were relieved to find nothing. The next day I went into my office to unplug my computer to go to work and there in the small corner between my desk and the wall was a little (well,actually pretty big) present from Tino. We got a dog door the next day ;)

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  20. I went home last night and downloaded the book and read your wonderful story about Frankie...I think I was crying most of the way through it, but I also found words, that I needed right now, at this time in my life. Thank you for loving all of your babies so much, and giving them just what they needed. Isn't it amazing that when we take care of our furkids that way they should be taken care of, in the end, it is the blessing that WE receive.
    Stella Rose's Momma

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    1. Wow, you read it all in one night? I'm so glad you enjoyed my book and took a moment to let me know. Thank you!

      -Barbara

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  21. I really enjoyed this post and of course, especially the poop story, I probably shouldn't give you the image I had, but I was just hoping it was a nice solid gift that was in your purse! :)

    I love that you were able to turn Frankie's disability into so many positive things that others could learn and benefit from - Pawsome!

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

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    1. Thank you, Snoopy! And yes, it was a perfectly formed little gift in my purse. LOL!

      -Barbara

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