Kickass, the doorstop dog, has noticed that the keeper seems to spend more time than seems necessary down in his so-called “work shop;” and it is apparent that part of the reason is that the furnace is on one end of the room. He is no different than a dog curling up by the fire in this incredible cold.
However–and this is the disquieting part, he can be heard talking to the furnace: “Hang in there, my friend. This getting old has its downside but for god’s sake don’t let your flame go out in this weather. I know we are both over our respective life expectancies, but if you don’t mind, I am going first, and it ain’t gonna be for a while, so keep on pumping!”
Since the keeper is so old he dates back to when it was common to actually “throw a log on the fire,” he then tells the furnace that if it so much as falters he will hit it with a stick, or maybe a two-by-four.