Like any red-blooded, four-year-old goldendoodle, Lucy is irrepressibly friendly and delights in windows-down car rides. But unlike a vast majority of dog parents, Brock Keen and his wife Sara possess an automotive wanderlust that has turned the canine-on-a-roadtrip trope on its ear.
Nearly every milestone in Brock and Sara’s relationship was forged on the open road. The couple eloped on what became a 3,000-mile road trip that took them from their home near Portland, Oregon, to Yosemite National Park, the western Sierras, all the way to the hills of Alabama, and back again. “Lucy rode with us the whole time,” Keen says with a normality that suggests he couldn’t have imagined it any other way.
The fixation on curating an intimate rolling home for the adventuresome trio evolved from the idea that more space is not necessarily better. This seemingly counterintuitive goal led Keen on a quest to reverse-engineer the compact sports car into a trail-ready, mile-gobbling, overnight-capable road trip machine. Finished in Atlas Grey, Keen’s 911 rides on all-season tires so it’s ready for almost any variety of inclement weather or iffy road conditions. That adaptability is also aided by all-wheel drive, which helps the Porsche claw its way through dirt and mud with ease. Mounted to the nose are large rally lights that flood trails and lonely stretches of highway with light. Atop the roof sits an expanding tent that accommodates Brock, Sara, and yes, Lucy too—who enjoys her own bedding in the cozy setup. The tent unfolds in minutes, props up via an extendable ladder, and can carry up to 600 pounds — more than enough for the three of them.
Though some assume that a premium sports car means the trio are living in the lap of luxury, Keen begs to differ. “Even though it’s on the top of a 911, I wouldn’t call it ‘glamping,’” he says. Not treating the car or its occupants too preciously enables a certain freedom; if Lucy jumps into the 911 with muddy paws, “it’s not the end of the world,” he insists. Keen is similarly comfortable with the inevitable nicks, dings, and bumps, which, he says, “add a little bit of charm” and are simply “part of the journey.” That journey has expanded significantly since the pandemic, which shifted Keen’s road going instincts into overdrive. He estimates that he, Sara, and Lucy covered some 30,000 miles in the last year alone, bringing the total up to 136,000 miles on the Porsche’s odometer to date.
He says that climbing in and out requires moving the seat forward and sometimes giving her a boost. But apart from the occasional ingress and egress awkwardness, Lucy is remarkably comfortable within the 911, taking the rear shelf when Sara’s onboard, or sitting up front in the passenger seat, head plopped on the armrest. Rolling the window down often triggers her to lift her head, and Lucy usually perks up at the sight or smell of familiar spots, whether it’s the beach or Keen’s cabin. She has also taken naturally to spirited driving on curvy roads, as Keen learned after seeing rear-facing GoPro footage of her in the back of the 911. As the g-forces mount, Lucy trains her eyes on the road ahead and anticipates the corners by leaning in. The movement is as natural as breathing and as intuitive as surfing, illustrating the ease with which Lucy has taken to her dynamic surroundings.
Perhaps what makes Lucy’s story so compelling is how seamlessly she complements Brock and Sara’s lifestyle. It’s about investing in relationships, adventure, and intangible experiences that accumulate over thousands of miles. It’s a timeless story of man, machine, and dog.