It was late one night... I was online and saw a photo of a very cute puppy, who's sad brown eyes looked pleadingly into the camera lens seemingly asking ME to take him home. That weekend, I drove to the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter and met Kuma for the first time. At approximately 12 weeks old he already had a rough start to life. Living in a dirty kennel with older, more aggressive puppies. I watched him for awhile and noticed that he wasn't able to get any food out of the small tin dish the kennel attendant tossed down because the larger puppies would attack him and he would run yelping to the back on the kennel. I watched outside the kennel feeling helpless and so bad for this little puppy that seemed to be starving. I went and got a kennel attendant and he told me there was nothing they could do about it since they were overcrowded and didn't have the space to separate him. That's when I made a very important decision that would change the course of my life... I decided to get that puppy the hell outta there!
(The photo below is the first time I ever laid eyes on my boy!)
It took me a few seconds to decide to adopt Kuma. I paid the small adoption fee and with both nervousness and excitement I went to pick him up at the spay & neuter clinic a few days later. When the vet brought him out, she told me how skinny he was. He was all ribs and no meat. Poor baby. He was so skinny under all that fur, the vet guessed he hadn't eaten much in the week he was at the shelter. I told her how I saw the other puppies attacking him whenever he tried to eat. He had multiple wounds all over his small body. She told me that he needed a lot of TLC to repair both his heart and his wounds. I made this woman a promise that I would give him plenty of love. Little did either one of us know that Kuma would become my "heart" dog. You know, one of those special ones that lives in your heart for eternity. Fate brought us together that day. Kuma was my true soul mate dog.
Soon after his homecoming I realized a few import things about my puppy. First, was that he was extremely food aggressive. He ate food with such vigor, he acted like it was his last meal. To this day he still has issues with food. The second thing that I realized is that he was almost feral. He was a naughty little boy and would snap at me. He wanted nothing to do with petting and cuddles. He just wasn't accustomed to being touched or handled. Fortunately his love for food and my love for him, helped him overcome this. Lastly I realized that I had just adopted a brilliant puppy. Smart doesn't even begin to describe his ability to learn behaviors and how quickly he gets things. Kuma learned his first trick in a mere few seconds, his second trick just minutes later -- his precision and quick learning ability blew me away!
For the next 6 years Kuma underwent consistent training, and through incredible teamwork he learned things rapidly and he taught me a ton! Today he knows over 75 behaviors, having mastered complex commands such as putting a coin in a piggy bank, recycling cans and plastic bottles, scratching a flea on cue, jumping through my arms and on my back, and working with actors on a film set, looking like he really belongs to them!
Kuma's canine resume is very impressive as you can see! He loves to work. At two years old he landed his first job, working on a late night infomercial for Pawws Pet Vitamins and did several print shoots until he finally got his first big break being cast as "Cesar" on the Hallmark film Fielder's Choice. The director was so impressed with Kuma this led him to get cast as "Jesse" playing John Larroquette's dog for the Hallmark Mystery Series McBride.
To date, Kuma has over 100 professional acting credits! For a partial list please take a look at his resume. I try to keep track of his jobs but there have been many I have forgotten to write down. Kuma LOVES to do studio work and enjoys it so much that sometimes I think he's a reincarnated "Cary Grant." When he is on set Kuma is truly in his element. As his owner / trainer it makes me so proud to see my boy shine. I feel so fortunate to be part of his life and since I feel he is an extraordinary canine, I wanted to share my special dog with the rest of the world through his studio jobs and also with this little website.
When he is not on set Kuma enjoys being a regular dog. He lives with several other animals on a small farm. He likes to remind everyone that he is their mighty pack leader. Kuma is totally a momma's boy and everyone in his pack knows that he is my #1. He can be bossy, but also the most gentle animal you will ever see with different types of animal species (besides dogs). I can put baby chicks or baby bunnies all over Kuma and he would never think to harm them. He is totally trust-worthy with any species of animal. He even let a horse take a carrot from his mouth and has hung out with an African Elephant!!
Kuma also likes cats since he was raised with a litter of kittens when he was a pup. His favorite game is tug-o-war, his favorite toys are the really loud, squeaky ones! He enjoys keeping a look out for rogue squirrels and lizards. Kuma's favorite activity is going for a long hike, and most off all he enjoys EATING food! Boiled, organic chicken is his favorite. (He is spoiled!) :-)
Please enjoy this site and feel free to send us a question or a comment. Thank you for visiting!!
- Sarah (Kuma's mom)