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  • Rocky, 50ShadesJK, and his Humans

December 15, 2018

Jeep Dog Adventure Series with Rocky, Collin, and Jessica

Welcome to the Jeep Dog Adventure Series! If you are reading this series for the first time, this is all about the humans and dogs that are behind the Jeeps in the Jeep Community. For our second post, we caught up with Collin and Jessica and their awesome 1 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Rocky. 

We met Collin and Jessica in 2017 on the Top of the World trail in Moab, UT during the 50th Easter Jeep Safari. Black Dog Offroad was only 6 months young as an official company at this time and were hitting the market by storm at our first ever EJS. We had hooked up with the JK Forum team along with Genesis Offroad and Northridge 4x4 to sponsor a trail ride to one of the most photographed trails in the world.  Although we had not met them yet, Collin and Jessica were right behind us in 50shadesJK and as luck would have it, I needed Collin to help guide me up a pathetically easy rock ledge. We had rebuilt our red JK like all good builds (very last minute) and neither of my lockers were consistently staying locked. They were having a mind of their own, locking and unlocking for fun, and it was making for a pretty frustrating experience in a group of seasoned Jeepers. Not making excuses (only thing really damaged was my pride), and with a quick spot, I easily went up the ledge. It was in this moment that Collin made sure to point out that Jessica easily made it up without a spotter - to which I asked him when she was going to let him drive her pretty Jeep? 

It was later on that day that I knew I would really like Collin and Jessica. Jessica told Collin to come apologize to me for giving me a hard time and like any good boyfriend, he acquiesced. I let him finish his entire apology and graciously accepted it before I quickly let him know that I live most of my life in a state of sarcasm and his trash talk on the trail is what got me to loosen up and make the most of my slipping and sliding JK. I never did apologize for insinuating that his Jeep belonged to a girl. I am not even sure what that means to be honest. I know tons of awesome Jeep Girls with MUCH better rigs and offroad skills than me. So maybe it was just the 50shadesJK name? Either way, uh, sorry Collin? :D

A year passed and we followed the @50ShadesJK build on Instagram drooling along with everyone else. Collin had asked me a few times for tips and tricks on dogs and Jeeping and we were excited when we saw they got Rocky - even more excited when we found out he would be at the 2018 EJS and we would get to meet him. He quickly was indoctrinated into the Jeep family!

"To date, our favorite off road adventure with Rocky would definitely have to be Moab Easter Jeep Safari in 2018. He was only three months old at the time and everyone on the trail seemed to fall in love with him. It was his first time off-roading in the Jeep and he loved it! He wasn’t anxious or nervous at all, and he loved the frequent stops on the trail where he would get to make friends .We took some awesome photos and posted them to his very own Instagram (@Rockymtnberner), and frequently reminisce on how much fun we had with him."

Collin and Jessica had rebuilt the 50ShadesJK and Rocky was there with them in Moab as they put it to the test to go on an awesome adventure. Their favorite non-Dog modification?  "...would have to be the suspension. The Rebel Off Road Recon Coilovers & Teraflex Long Arm truly give me confidence to tackle any terrain. The Jeep rides so smooth back and forth to work throughout the week and doesn’t feel compromised while off road on the weekends. The suspension is one of the biggest differences between this Jeep and my previous builds. The 50ShadesJK has been a dream build for us. We’re looking forward to incorporating what we have learned with this build in order to take on new challenge of building a JL in the near future."

Collin and Jessica are the very definition of what lifestyle we can lead with a Jeep and a Dog. They take Rocky off road with them every time now and even started a company that defines this lifestyle (check out built2wander.com when you are done reading this!)

He (Rocky) loves riding in the Jeep and we love having him with us on our adventures. We are always on the go, whether it is off road in the Jeep, hiking, camping, or even fishing, and we knew that we wanted our dog to be right there with us. 

We have bought a quilted hammock seat cover for the rear seats, and recently purchased a Black Dog Offroad Adventure Leash. Prior to this, we had a seat belt for him, but we love that the BDO adventure leash doubles as both a leash and a seat belt that can easily clip to his harness for safety.  editor note - Thanks for the product plug! :D

We have long preached that Dogs are Family. Natalie and I call Cooper our child and treat him as such. For Collin and Jessica -

We have learned a lot about each other just by raising a dog together. I had heard others say it’s good practice to have a puppy before having kids, and although we don’t have any kids, I’d have to agree with that! Unfortunately, Rocky was not a healthy puppy for the first 10 weeks we brought him home. It made caring for him and training a lot more challenging. We both learned patience, and a lot of it. We got to know when and how to help each other out with the shared responsibility. On December 21’st this year, we will have a healthy 1 year old puppy. It’s been so fun to watch him grow and experience everything we love to do, with him. He’s an awesome companion, makes us laugh every day, and is a joy to everyone he meets. 

Over and over again, Jeeps and Dogs are a special combination. Whether you are going on a camping adventure with a Jeep full of GSD's like Diana Elena or bringing Rocky to the Top of the World in Moab, UT where he steals the show, that combination will always be a winning combination. 

For Collin and Jessica, what adventure is next? "We are hoping to sneak out for a fun snow run with Rocky. He loves the snow and is right at home in the mountains. We are also really looking forward to Moab Easter Jeep Safari in 2019 and can’t wait to bring Rocky back for round 2!"

Collin and Jessica - Get used to it, your Jeep is now Rocky's Jeep. I think we can all agree, that is good with us.  :)

Follow along on their many adventures: 

@Rockymtnberner

@built2wander

@jessthegypsy_rn

@50shadesJK

 

 

 




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