Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith

Although my mom and I both grew up in Colorado, my dad is from the Seattle area. He calls it the Great Northwest. I’ve never been, but I’ve heard the stories of how lush and green it is. Well recently, I got to experience a tasteof the Northwest right here in Arizona! I couldn’t believe my eyes—but wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The RimSome nice humans invited me and my fam to hike Horton Creek Falls with them recently. You know I am always up for an adventure, especially when it begins with a big, hearty breakfast where bacon is involved. Woof! We met up in Payson, Arizona, to eat then drove 16 miles east of Payson to a mile north of Arizona 260. The Horton Creek Falls trail head is in the Upper Tonto Creek Campground, and the trail is 7.1 miles round trip. The parking lot had a human restroom, and we didn’t have to pay anything. Free is always good!

Kuma with fernsApparently, a gentleman by the name of L.J. Horton started a cattle ranch in the area, thus the well-define beginning of the trail. I can totally see the cows loving the fresh water from the creek. Poor L.J’s cattle were stolen, though, and he gave up the ranch. Lucky for us! I truly thought we had been teleported to another state because of all the green plants. Wow! We saw oak, cottonwood, sumac, and even ferns…ferns, I tell ya! The trail follows the creek, so my kind will have ample opportunity to get a cool drink of water. Nothing better!

Kuma on trailI was in pure Shiba Inu mode, zooming up the trail. Awwwof! Some humans were struggling with the incline, but not me and my mom! The trail wasn’t extremely steep but did climb 1,380 feet in 3.5 miles. If you go, allow plenty of time for rest breaks and picture opportunities. I bet the color is magnificent in the fall. The day we went, the temperature actually dropped down to the 40s, and we got rained on. At the top, we could see our breath and the remains of some hail.

We were greeted with a beautiful waterfall—the perfect spot for hot tea and lunch. My dad is handy with a Jet Boil, and my mom packs a yummy lunch. I even get my own bag of goodies. She’s the best! I hate to admit it, but we all got cold sitting, even me. I guess I have become a desert dog. Down the mountain we went, which was much easier than hiking up.

The humans decided to visit the fish hatchery nearby, and I began a lovely nap. What a day! We will most certainly be back to Horton Creek Falls and encourage you to check it out as well. Happy trails!

Crossing the bridge 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: www.lorrainebosse-smith.com. 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!