• A Girl, a Jeep, and Her Dogs

November 11, 2018

Jeep Dog Adventure Series with Diana Elena Gross

If you are reading this then you already know we have a strong passion for Jeeps, Dogs, and the adventures that are possible when you combine the two. We are not alone in this quest and hope to highlight some stories over the coming months about others who live this awesome lifestyle. 

We met Diana virtually on Instagram and have followed along (sometimes stalked) her IG account to live vicariously through some of her awesome adventures with her Jeep Dogs. She lives in Chandler, Arizona and first got into the Jeep lifestyle back in 2016 when she bought a shiny new stock 2 door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Diana already had one German Shepherd at the time and they wanted to go on adventures so what better vehicle to do just that! She had wanted a Jeep and dog since she was little so combining the two and making it a reality was a no brainer. 

"I have 2 shepherds of my own now (the other 2 are my mom’s) and they’ve been off-roading and camping. They love exploring so every time I go somewhere, those 2 are my main sidekicks" Diana said when asked about going offroad with her dogs. 

She has outfitted her Jeep for adventures with all the usual awesome gear (wheels, tires, lift, bumpers, winch, etc) but has also specifically bought a few items with her dogs in mind. "The cargo net (from Black Dog Offroad of course) and I guess the roof rack is mainly for them also. I have a 2 door and now that I have multiple shepherds, it’s almost a must. If I put all 4 shepherds in there, goodbye gear…"

Putting the Jeep to the test, we asked specifically 'what is your favorite Jeep Dog off road adventure and why? Any funny stories?' We love this question because if you have a Jeep Dog you know first hand that only the good pics make it to social media. There are MANY frustrations along the way (we will share some of our stories at a later date).

From Diana: 

"Any offroad adventure with them is something different. They used to get sick at first so I’d have to stop and clean up (more annoying than funny) but now they’re seasoned offroaders. I was in a big group of Jeepers about a year ago and I only had one shepherd at that time. It was his first offroad adventure and I had the top off with the cargo net. He kept barking at every other Jeep that would pass by. When we finally picked a camp spot for the night, we were surrounded by coyotes. Usually, everyone would be a little on edge given that situation but since we had a 110lb shepherd ready to go at any time, everyone relaxed and sat by the fire and drank all night. We also forgot our tent poles but everyone else had enough gear that we managed to tie every corner of the tent to a nearby tree. It was an amazing experience out in the wilderness and it shows that even if you come unprepared, your crew (2 and 4 legged) always has your back."

Since Diana opts to give her big dogs free reign of the back area it makes for a funny ride when going offroad. Jax, her rescued Malinois has not figured out the whole balance situation so it is a work in progress. With 4 total dogs (3 shepherds and a rescued Malinois) in the family, nobody is going to mess with Diana's Jeep anytime soon sitting in a parking lot or camp ground! 

Since the beginning of this year, Diana has become heavily involved in rescue groups and it has impacted her life in a number of ways. 

"Oh man, where to start… I’ve managed to donate to local rescues, foster, drive out in the middle of the ghetto at 11pm with a fellow rescuer to save a German Shepherd from a neglect situation. One of the rescues I used to support turned out to be a horrible fraud case where the man starved 50+ dogs. This case is still under an ongoing investigation in Mesa Arizona and we started a petition to put more pressure on local law enforcement in order to actually press charges on the guy. He still has dogs in his care. It’s actually all over the news if anyone is interested in following the story. The bottom line is that animal laws need to improve all across the US in order to put an end to this abuse. I could honestly write a book with the experiences I’ve had in just one year so I can’t imagine what seasoned rescuers actually go through. I’ve also gotten involved with international rescue, like Humane Society International or No Dogs Left Behind, who save dogs from the horrible dog meat trade in Southeast Asia. Some of those pictures or videos that they share will honestly make you lose sleep and become physically ill. I encourage everyone to get involved to whatever extent they can. It’s man’s best friend and their loyalty knows no bounds. They should never have to suffer the way they do."

Jeeps and Dogs have always gone together to form a special place in the hearts of so many people worldwide. Whether you are going on a camping adventure with your GSD's like Diana or simply bringing your rescued Lab-Mix with you to the store, to anything in between, we started Black Dog Offroad to bring more attention to Jeep Dogs and just how awesome of a bond these two share. 

For Diana, what adventure is next? "I’m taking them both camping to our favorite spot. It’s a place called “Edge of the World” and it’s between Flagstaff and Sedona. We take this 30 mile dirt road up to the rim and the spot overlooks the red rocks of Sedona. It’s pretty amazing."

We cannot wait to follow along on Instagram :) @dianaelena890

Like Diana, we encourage everyone to participate as much as you can with your local rescue groups. Here are two that she supports if you would like to donate:

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