Kuma loves snowSnowshoeing Brainard Lake, Colorado

Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith

Is it just me or is our Texas weather feeling a bit like the Arctic? Awwwwooof! I’m loving it, baby! I bet many of my kind are extra frisky right now. These frigid temperatures bring me back to some glorious winter adventures like the time me and my fam went snowshoeing at Brainard Lake in Colorado. Brainard Lake is located just west of the Peak to Peak Highway just west of Ward and North of Nederland in Colorado. Think Boulder, and you are close. From Colorado Highway 72 at Ward, turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. Travel 2.5 miles to the Brainard Gateway Trailhead and continue another two miles to Brainard Lake. The entrance station is open seasonally, but the lake is open year round. It makes for great hiking in the summer and incredible snowshoeing in the winter.

Since humans have such wimpy feet, I knew we were heading to the mountains when my mom and dad grabbed their funky baskets they put on their shoes. I could hardly stand it and ran around in circles! Woof! We loaded up the car, and off we went. When we arrived, my humans pulled a fast one on me: they put booties on my paws. What?? I screamed. No, they didn’t hurt, but I’m a Shiba! I do not like anything touching my paws. I tried to shake those stupid things off to no avail. My mom said they were to protect my paws from freezing. I screamed louder. Just then, a young man with a baseball bat came running over. He was ready to beat up my dad. He thought I was being tortured. Well, I was. . . sorta. The humans got a good laugh. The sky was blue and the sun bright, so I was already moving on. I was ready for a great adventure!

I took the lead, of course, with my mom and dad not too far behind. My kind is totally welcome here but does need to be on a leash. Be sure your humans bring plenty of water. Some might need a coat to stay warm. Me, I have a double coat. I dig the cold. We had to contend with some wind until we got further up the trail and into the trees. That meant climbing, but I’m an excellent climber! The trail offers a good mix of flat and some incline with meadows, lake, and mountain views. Just perfect!

We made our way to Brainard Lake where we stopped for lunch. I did get a little chilly, but I toughed it out. My humans made hot chocolate, which I’m told isn’t good for me. So, I got special treats. I’m good with that. We took in the fresh, crisp, mountain air and enjoyed our reward: the views. Quite a few people take advantage of this trail, so you have to pay attention going back to ensure you follow the right trail. I sniffed and followed my own scent back. I’m a good dog. I had such a good time that I almost forgot about those silly booties—almost. I was quite happy to get them off. I don’t remember the drive back as I conked out. Oh the fun I had! If you are looking for a winter getaway and love the outdoors, make the trip. You won’t be sorry you did.

Kumaito (Kuma for short) is a multi-tan Shiba Inu, an ancient breed from Japan, who moved from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to Friendswood, Texas. He enjoys running almost every day with his mom, chasing squirrels out of his yard, playing with toys, pestering his brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, Kuma loves about everything and everyone! His mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help him tell his story. She is the author of seven published books, writes for magazines on assignment, has been seen on national television, and inspires people to live healthy, balanced lives through personal training, life coaching, and workshops. You can reach Kuma through Lorraine’s website: www.thetotalyou.biz. Be sure to visit Kuma Dog’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog?ref=hl

You never know what he’ll be up to next!