By Meda Kessler
Photo courtesy of Vanessa Christina Photography

Life throws you a bone when you go from being a shelter pup to living with a guy who loves to smoke meat — and is willing to share.

Even though Trevor Sales doesn’t have his own shop just yet, he does have a shop dog. Sales is a pop-up pitmaster with a custom smoker made from a 1947 propane tank. Brix, a mix of boxer and Staffordshire terrier, travels and hangs out in the air-conditioned truck Sales uses to haul his metal beast to catering and pop-up gigs. (Sales will be more stationary when he soon sets up a customized Airstream and smoker in Fort Worth near HopFusion Ale Works.)

A fairly recent transplant from Illinois who fell in love with smoked meats when he moved to Texas, Sales originally called his business Big T’s Blues + BBQ. He impressed family, friends and co-workers with his barbecue early out and has continued to tweak his technique for the past two years. Sales and girlfriend Katlynn Schwanke found a new love in the form of a wiggly puppy at the Humane Society of North Texas in Fort Worth.

“We had lost a dog, and I had been making a case to adopt a new one,” says Sales. Schwanke was out of town, and Sales spotted Brix on the rescue group’s website. He was 10 months old and had been taken to the shelter as a stray. It was love at first sight and a nice surprise for Schwanke when she got back into town.

Brix made such a big impression on Sales that he decided to rebrand his fledgling business as Brix Barbecue. Brix returns the love with his big smile, sloppy-tongue licks and cleaning up all the scraps he can. Good boy.

Follow Sales and Brix @brixbarbecue on Instagram. — Meda Kessler