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Even if they don’t have opposable thumbs, wrenching assistance from humans’ best friends, dogs and cats, is always greatly appreciated. Whether it’s a shop animal or a house pet that loves wandering into the garage, their presence always lightens the mood. Dogs are especially wonderful. They’re more trainable than cats (are cats even trainable?), so there’s potential value in having them bring us tools while we’re crawling underneath a project, holding onto a fitting, balancing a jack handle, etc. Our furry little friends also provide moral support. Watching them sniff and poke around at what we’re doing while wrenching is, in my opinion, good company to keep, and they give you something to talk or vent to when nobody else is around. 

Dogs and cats might also help keep you calm and prevent you from influencing the local youths’ vocabulary with colorful and passionately-delivered expletives. If I had a nickel for every substantial string of crude language I’ve shared with my neighborhood, I’d probably have enough money to pay for a Mazda 2’s DIY oil change. Dogs and cats remind you to keep your cool because you don’t want to scare them away, making them think you’re mad at them.

Also, be sure to keep harsh chemicals away from our feline and canine pals, apparently they’ll lick up coolant if it’s spilled on the ground. And take extra care while lowering the car back down with a jack.

Cat Mazda2
Old, poorly-filtered photo! One of the best wrenching assistants, ever: Sydney. Peter Nelson

When I lived in Chicago years ago, my neighbor’s cat Sydney used to come hang out and chill by my side when I’d wrench on my Mazda 2. She was one of the friendliest, sweetest cats I’ve ever met and definitely made wrenching in wretched Chicago humidity noticeably more enjoyable.

Surprisingly, tamed raccoons can potentially make great wrenching assistants. As YouTube channel Britannica Restorations highlights in this absolutely adorable video, a little raccoon kit can add a lot of whimsy to the shop:

Who wouldn’t love having an adorable little trash panda poking around? 

Well actually, apparently it can get pretty annoying; it looks like the little fella gets in the way an awful lot, and defecates all over the place, too. Nobody wants to accidentally harm such a cute little animal while wrenching, nor do they want to lay in raccoon scat while draining oil or something.

Who are some of your favorite, non-human wrenching companions? Cat, dog, trash panda, crow, river otter, grizzly bear, anything -comment below! Be sure to include photos if possible!

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