Snow Shoeing in Flagstaff, AZ

Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith

Lorraine and KumaI am totally grooving on living in Arizona! When we first moved here in May, I wasn’t so sure. The ground got awful hot and it bit me a few times with these stickers in my paws. So rude, you know? I should have known better than to question my humans, though, because they had my back! They are always looking out for me. Did I tell you that they pick out our houses for me and my brother, Edmond? True story. Anyway, winter here has been totally awesome.

Snowy FlagstaffDifferent parts of Arizona actually get snow in the winter, and I just love snow! Since we live on the north end of Phoenix, we aren’t far away from it. Recently, we drove up to Flagstaff, which is about two hours away, straight up the Highway 17. They have a Nordic Center off Highway 180 where people can snow shoe, cross country ski, and sled. It was pretty busy with inches of fresh snow on the ground, so we continued on a littler further. My dad just parked on one of the many roads that lead into the forest, and we went from there. Another great thing about Arizona is it has lots of free, open spaces for dogs like me to roam. Hey, don’t fence me in.

Kuma in winter wonderlandIt was chilly, but we didn’t care. I patiently wait—okay, maybe not so patiently—for my mom and dad to get their gear on, and off we went! From Highway 180, you get views of Humphrey’s Peak, the talent mountain in Arizona. We hope to hike that one day, too, but for now, we were bounding through the snow—me bounding, and my folks hiking.
Due to some wind the last few days, snow drifted in places that were taller than me. Oh the joys! We were in the trees, so we were protected from the little bit of wind blowing that day. All the trees were covered in white, and we had the trail to ourselves. Our trail was following the roads that are used during the summer for four wheeling, hiking, or camping. Since no one had been back there, we were blazing our way. Woof!

The ending of a perfect dayI led most of the way, of course. At some point, I somehow ended up behind my mom in her tracks. My mom said I was getting tired. Me? Never! I was just saving my energy up by sitting on her snow shoe and catching a ride. I mean, when you are outside, you never know what you will discover. I wanted to be ready. Besides, the extra weight gave my mom a good workout.
We did about 3 or 4 miles, but you could go as short or long as you want. I don’t remember the drive home, but before too long, we were back in our sunny, warm yard. You gotta love Arizona; I know I do. Maybe I’ll see you out and about. I’m the black and tan Shiba Inu with a smile on my face because life is so very good.

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 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!