Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith

            Growing up in Colorado, I’m familiar with elk and moose of enormous size! My mom and I frequently encountered them on running and hiking trails. I’ve heard our area here in Texas doesn’t have moose or elk, but does have alligators. I’m not particularly eager to see one, but my humans are curious sorts. Off we went to Brazos Bend State Park in search of gators!

Brazos Bend State Park is nearby—less drive time—and home to plenty of American alligators. It is just 28 miles southwest of Houston. We took State Highway 288 North to the FM 1462 exit, then followed brown signs to the park. The nice lady at the gate took $14 ($7 per human; dogs are free) and gave us a map. She didn’t give me a treat, even though I flashed my best smile. Not all magic windows give food, I’m learning. Anyway, my kind are welcome on leashes no longer than six feet. We were encouraged to keep an eye out for gators on the path, but the temps were low during our visit. Most likely, the gators would be hunkered down in the mud. My humans kept me clear of the water’s edge and high grasses anyway. Better to be safe than gator food! And never, ever feed those beasts.

Brazos covers roughly 5,000 acres, with an eastern boundary of 3.2 miles along the Brazos River. It has six lakes, bayous, and a lot of wildlife. Man, I saw all sorts of birds. My humans brought binoculars and their camera because Brazos has such a diverse landscape. Bobcats, coyotes, raccoons, and foxes have been spotted in the park, although not during our outing. Some humans were fishing and picnicking, while others were camping in some nice sites. We opted to walk around 40-Acre Lake and Elm Lake. So much to sniff. . .woof!

Both trails were well-maintained dirt paths. The 40-Acre Lake trail has an observation tower overlooking the marshes and lakes. Wow! What a view; we could see for miles. This gave me an opportunity to see all my adoring fans, who stopped us along the way to greet me. What can I say, I’m popular. All trails seem to have restrooms for humans and shelter areas for fishing. Even driving through the park was pretty.

After working up an appetite, we found a picnic table and had lunch. We hardly made a dent at seeing the entire park; Brazos gets a high Kuma-adventure rating for sure. We will be back for another gator quest another day!

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, was 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!