Jan Stepp became Brownie’s foster mom in 2009. He was around three-years-old back then and had been picked up as a stray. Like a lot of homeless animals, Brownie was wary of humans. He got on well with other dogs as long as they didn’t interfere with his food. Things were working well in his new foster home.
Jan and Brownie had many adventures that ensued including a time he and a dog-buddy wandered away and ended up in a Range Rover/Volvo dealership where he worked in a commercial! Believing Brownie was a stray, a painter with the company took him home. The kind man’s wife wasn’t happy about having a new dog in the family, so Brownie became a ward of Buncombe County Animal Shelter. Remembering Jan’s visit looking for Brownie, an employee named Laura called Jan who immediately picked Brownie up and made him an official family member.
Jan says, “Over the course of the next few years, Brownie became one of the best watch dogs anyone could have simply because of his size and his relentless looking orange eyes.” Even Jan’s daughter was leery when the Louisiana Catahoula mix would stare her down before gladly accepting an offered treat held out to him – and then he would only take it from a distance.
Other than housebreaking, Brownie never really developed house skills. When Jan was painting a wall, Browning removed the blue painters tape as fast as she put it up! Still he was a part of the family, and that meant he would live inside the house. Jan worked tirelessly to make Brownie’s life good. He developed a rare skin disease that Jan cared for with diligence. She and Brownie shared a love that was satisfying for them even if it often seemed confusing.
Brownie Stepp is survived by his mamma, Jan, and fellow former foster-brother, Owen. Jan says of Brownie’s passing on July 27th, “There is no way to describe the hurt, the tears, the hole in my heart that he has left in me, except to say that he will be more than missed, he will never be forgotten.”