Brennan and the Back Porch

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:

As the old Irish song goes …
Brennan on the moor
Bold, brave and undaunted
Was young Brennan on the moor
Well, here’s Brennan in the clover, which seems Irish enough …
Brennan ‘n me. He looks very cute. As for me, for those who haven’t seen a picture of me in a few years, I look just as homely as ever.

3 thoughts on “Brennan and the Back Porch”

  1. It’s been a while since I’ve been by your blog. I see there have been big changes at your place, a new companion and a washing machine to boot. We don’t have pets any more. We are too mobile right now, and a float cabin deck with no access to shore any longer would make it difficult for a dog and even a cat in some ways. – Margy

  2. I went through many, many years being pet-free for reasons similar to yours – leading a life that just wasn’t suitable for having a furry friend.  But now that we are here, I thought this might be the opportunity to try again, and Ken was willing to give it a chance as well.  Brennan seems to be energetic and happy – we take him for long walks along the beach or on the trails.  You have to work hard to wear out a border collie (even a puppy)!

  3. I have been visiting your blog for 2 years now and it is time for a comment: I admire you for your courage to live this way and i love your cabin and surroundings, the Back Porch looks great job and brennan is so cute. Marianne from Austria  

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