Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Boss é-Smith

Wild flowers in bloom

Wild Flowers in Bloom

Apparently, my humans had a life before me. I find that hard to believe, but alas, they say they had many adventures before I blessed their lives with my Shiba Inu greatness. Woof! One such outing they have shared about is the Superstition Mountains just 40 miles east of Phoenix. The story is told of some Dutch dude who got lost. He wasn’t very bright, in my opinion, because he also left behind a ton of gold. Humans have been searching for it ever since, many never to be seen again. What was this? Mystery? Danger? I was all in!

Lorraine and Kuma on trail

Lorraine and Kuma on the Trail

Off we went to the Lost Dutchman State Park, part of the Superstition Wilderness. My humans never actually hiked here before but only drove through the park and onto the Tonto National Forest. See, life with me IS better! Our park’s pass got us in, but if you don’t have one, be prepared to pay $7 for the day. Dogs are welcome on a leash. Warning: older dogs and very tiny or short dogs will have difficulty with the Siphon Draw trail due to its steepness, elevation gain, and large rocks. Fortunately, a lovely nature trail provides wonderful views of the Superstitions without much effort. Camp sites are also available for those who wish to stay over and enjoy the night sky.

Kuma finds some shade

Kuma Finds Some Shade

We, of course, had to take on the big kahuna, although my dad told my mom in the car that this was a flat, desert floor trail. Ha! She didn’t let him live that down all day. The trail was steep, gaining a couple thousand feet in elevation in a couple of miles. As I mentioned, the terrain was rocky with big boulders to scramble up and over. I love bouldering, so I was a happy camper! I did get hot, however, and was grateful for some shade under one of those boulders. I wasn’t the only one; I noticed several thirsty humans. Remember to always bring plenty of water. My humans always have my back.

At basin

At the Basin

The trail was busier than most I’ve been on, so be aware of that if you are apprehensive about other dogs. The Superstition Mountains reminded my mom of the Dolomites of Italy. She hasn’t seen them in person yet, but they are on her bucket list. The wildflowers were crazy. Everywhere we looked we saw yellow. When we got to the two mile mark, the trail became a wall of rock. We were advised by humans who were coming down not to proceed with me. At this point, the trail would require some rock climbing beyond my ability with four legs. Since my mom prepared a nice picnic lunch for us, we were content to enjoy the basin area, which had lovely trees providing some shade.

We met a nice fellow from San Antonio, Texas. Hey, I’m a Texan! Well, I was for three years. He was tuckered out because they don’t have steep mountains like this in most of Texas. He seemed to be having a great time, though. I was also admired by a lovely lady from Russia who was missing her doggy. I let her pet me to her heart’s content and gave her one of my million-watt smiles. We’re now friends on Facebook (Kuma the Dog). How cool is that?

Fueled up and cooled off, we headed back down the trail. Going down was just as challenging as hiking up because the rock was slick with dust, making it very easy to slide and fall. We managed okay, but we were hot and dusty. The views were never ending, and we could see all of Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona from our vantage point. Supposedly, quite a few mule deer reside in the area as do Javelinas, but we didn’t see any. I didn’t get to meet Mr. Jack Rabbit either, but perhaps another time because we will be back! Maybe next time, we can search for that gold. Oh the bones and steaks I could buy with that. Woof! May all your wishes come true.

Kumaito (Kuma for short) is a multi-tan Shiba Inu, an ancient breed from Japan, who was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, moved to Friendswood, Texas, and now calls Phoenix, Arizona home. He enjoys running almost every day with his mom, chasing rabbits 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 Founder of the F.I.T. Leader Formula and 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!