The Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith

Kuma in snow

I wasn’t sure about this place called Arizona when we first moved here in May 2015. The temperatures got pretty hot, and the ground attacked me, leaving stickers in my paws. What were my parents thinking? They kept telling me to just wait. I’m a Shiba Inu, and I’m great at many things, but waiting is not one of them. Alas, I waited, for what, I didn’t know.
Fall arrived where the evenings got cooler, and I had a bounce in my step. By the turkey-eating season, we were enjoying cold weather and even snow. Oh how I have missed snow from my

Colorado days! Arizona is turning out to be okay in my book, especially after seeing the Grand Canyon.Snowy roads at Canyon

Yes, we headed up the 17 freeway north to Flagstaff where we connected with the 89 north and followed that into the Grand Canyon National Park, approximately 4 hours from Sky Harbor Airport. My dad showed our park pass at the gate, but you could pay if you don’t have one. Dogs are welcome in the park and on the trails…just not in the stores and restaurants. Most national parks do not allow dogs to walk or hike on the trails, so I gave the ranger a nice Shiba Inu smile. Woof!

God bless AmericaI kept a keen eye out but wasn’t sure what all the excitement was about. All I saw was trees to the side of the road. I’ve seen plenty of trees in my adventuring days. We pulled off to a viewing spot. I ran ahead and was stopped dead in my tracks. Whoa. As far as I could see was an expanse—a wide open canyon. We stood right by the edge, and the drop off was further than I could ever have imagined. It made me just a little nervous.

My parents told me that the Grand Canyon is about 1.8 billion years old, is 277 miles long, 1 mile deep, and up to 18 miles wide. Again, math is not my strong suit, but that sounds ancient and big! We had bright blue skies and bright sun, so we decided to go for a hike. I needed to stretch my legs after all that driving anyway.

Sun setting on CanyonThe Rim Trail follows the canyon and goes for a long ways. You can connect with it off the main road in several places. Just get a map at one of the visitor’s centers. We hiked about 4 miles of it, and as the sun set, the red rock just glowed. That night, the sky was a deep red unlike anything I have ever seen before.

We got to hotel it—ahwoof!—at the Canyon Plaza resort. They were friendly to my kind and pleased my mom with all their Christmas decorations. I got to eat human food and enjoyed a nice evening’s rest.

The next morning, we woke up to fresh snow. Every tree was covered, and you couldn’t see the roads. We were socked in! This adventure kept getting better! We drove back to the park on icy, snowy roads and got to see the Grand Canyon covered in white. Wow. My humans have been here before without me, but they hadn’t seen it with snow. I am good luck, so of course it snowed. Woof! It was wicked cold and very windy. I must admit I got cold. I normally do quite well in the cold with my double fur coat, but I guess I’m out of practice. My mom had to put my coat on. Good thing I look dashing in it! We romped around in the snow and watched as the clouds blew through the canyon.

A cold day at the Canyon (2)We continued to drive through the park, stopping at every viewing area. Some cars were sliding around like sleds. What fun! I’m not sure my humans thought so, though. The park has a village with shops and restaurants, and my folks did some walking around. I decided to stay in the nice, warm car. I’m a smart dog, don’t you know.

After a yummy meal, it was time to head out and back home. We said farewell to the Grand Canyon but promised we’d be back. If you haven’t ever been, you must. If you haven’t seen it with snow, consider going during the winter as isn’t as busy. It’s truly is grand.
Lorraine and Kuma on edge of CanyonKumaito (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 a certified professional behavior analyst (CPBA) who has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs across the country. She is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of eight published books who helps companies rewire their business for success and inspires people toward a healthier, more balanced life. You can reach Kuma through Lorraine’s website: Be sure to visit Kuma Dog’s Facebook page at
You never know what he’ll be up to next!