For the last four years or so, our back door has opened out onto a set of rustic cedar steps built for us by a friend. They were meant only to get us by in the short term, but, like many things, became a nearly permanent part of our cabin as other things in our lives took priority over building a back deck. Getting Brennan ended our procrastination on this project!
Ultimately, we would like Brennan to sleep outside in a dog house. Partly, this is so that he can serve as a watch dog, but also, we both feel that dogs that spend most of their time outside are healthier and develop thicker coats that do not shed as much throughout the year. So … we needed a secure and safe place for Brennan to sleep. We are particularly concerned about the potential of cougars stalking and attacking Brennan when we are not around (or awake) to protect him. This led to the concept of an outdoor kennel.
Now, most people would ask how a kennel is related to our back porch project, but these people probably haven’t seen our creative construction techniques! After some discussion, and several draft designs, we came up with a plan that incorporated both the construction of the long awaited back deck and the creation of a secure home for Brennan.
Looking at the photo above, you can see that we don’t follow any particular architectural style … our design looks like a strange hybrid of Tom’s cabin and a First Nation long house. However, for all it’s odd style, it’s sturdy and the construction utilized many materials we already had on hand, saving us both dollars and trips to town. It provides us with both a roomy, completely enclosed kennel for Brennan and a nice back deck with space for a couple of chairs on a sunny afternoon … and a new set of solid stairs. The dog house is a Home Hardware four-bolt self-assembly job that took me ten minutes to put together.
As it turns out, Brennan loves his dog house and the back deck. It’s cool and shady during the warm weather, and a great place for hot black and white dogs to hang out. At the moment, we are keeping Brennan indoors at night, but will gradually transition him to his outside home as the summer progresses. Come fall, we will insulate the dog house, and Brennan will stay out there for all but the coldest weather.
And just because I can, here are a couple more photos of Brennan: