Bark at the Arboretum: Kuma and Jersey Visit

The Ambler Arboretum is a popular spot for more than taking in the beauty of the trees. Seems that many folks find it a great place to walk their dogs. We welcome dogs at the arboretum. Of course, if you decide to bring your canine companion to our gardens we do ask that you follow the following rules:

  • Dogs must be attended and on a leash at all times. Short leashes are recommended as poison ivy and interactions with wildlife in the gardens is possible on longer leashes.
  • Owners/attendants are responsible for removal and disposal of their dogs’ wastes in the proper receptacles (at this time the Ambler Arboretum does not provide waste bags for your dog). There are trash cans located throughout campus as well as in the visitor’s parking lot.
  • All dogs must have their vaccinations and registrations
  • For the safety of your pet and that of our plantings and the wildlife that calls the Arboretum home, please keep your dog on pathways and roadways, not in the gardens and planted areas
  • Do not leave your pets in unattended vehicles
  • Do not allow pets to urinate on  plants.
  • If your dog needs space or someone wanting to pet the dog should ask you before approaching the dog, we ask that you indicate this by tying a yellow ribbon to your dog’s collar or leashLearn more about the Yellow Dog Project.

Now that all of those rules are out of the way, let me introduce you to our first blog dogs Kuma and Jersey.

Cousins Kuma and Jersey decide which way to go in the Ernesta Ballard Healing Garden

Kuma is a therapy dog and comfortable visiting new places.

Kuma has a special story. Nearly 4 months ago she was diagnosed with liver cancer and told she had two months to live. It is incurable. In light of this news Kuma’s mom and dad decided to make a bucket list for her. Visiting gardens is on her list along with many other adventures she has been on. She attended Fido Friday at the Philadelphia Flower Show dressed as a lion, and was very popular with the flower show visitors. She gets an endless supply of squeaker toys and lots of different kinds of treats, even picking out her own at the local pet store. When her bucket list was nearly checked off, more was added to it. Kuma has been swimming, had a party, takes walks every day, has lots of car rides with the windows down, had her own photo shoot. She had a party with bubbles and the folks at Lowes know her well. There are more adventures to come. It is an inspiring story, I hope more dogs get a bucket list! I am thrilled the Ambler Arboretum made it on Kuma’s bucket list and that these gardens brought her family joy and peace.

While originally a rescue dog from North Carolina, Kuma’s adventures have landed her in central New Jersey. This is not the first time Kuma’s mom fought to save her life. When her mom found her at a kill shelter in NC she fell in love with her but didn’t have the money on her to adopt her and was afraid to leave the place because it was closing and that day was Kuma’s last day to be adopted before they would euthanize her. Her momma stayed in that shelter refusing to let them lock the doors until her friend came with the money she needed to bring Kuma home. This 12 year old Akita found the Ernesta Ballard Healing Garden most enjoyable on this visit. It is calm and peaceful and she can use all the help with healing she can get these days. She is going to acupuncture regularly and so some zen meditation in a labyrinth seemed like a great idea too!

Her advice to other dogs visiting, and their owners, is to be sure to bring water along with you and a bowl to drink from. The fountain in the main formal garden looks like a great refreshing dog bowl, but it is a little deep to reach and the water from the water bottle is better.

Jersey is Kuma’s cousin and has been having fun keeping Kuma young and going along on some of Kuma’s bucket list adventures.

Jersey is a 3 year old boxer-pit mix rescued from the New Jersey Turnpike where she was abandoned as a puppy, which is how she got her name (and her momma is from NJ) though they both reside in Staten Island, NY now. Jersey’s exposure to great wide-open spaces and lots of flowers is limited and she loves to get out and explore. Like her mom, Jersey loved sniffing the lilacs near the Viola Anders Herb Garden.  Though there are lots of beautiful plants in the Arboretum and lots of places to explore, Jersey likes rolling around in the grassy areas the best and tested each one of them out.  Jersey wants to remind any dogs thinking of visiting the Arboretum with their humans, be sure to bring they waste bags along, none are provided here and there is a lot to explore, nature may call.

Kuma and Jersey enjoying the view of the Bright Memorial Pavillions in the Bush-Brown Formal Perennial Garden


Ambler Arboretum Bark Club

If you enjoying bringing your dog to the Arboretum, please keep an eye out for our Arboretum Bark Club Membership coming soon, which will feature free programs for dogs and their owners, a special Ambler Arboretum Bark Club Dog Tag and other surprises throughout the year. More information on this will be unveiled at our first event for dogs and their owners on December 1, 2018.

Ambler Arboretum Presents: Bark Walk
Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Meet at the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Visitor’s Center
Register Online

The Ambler Arboretum is going to the dogs! Join Ambler Arboretum of Temple University Director Kathy Salisbury for a special dog walking-friendly event in the Ambler Arboretum! The leaves have fallen from the trees and they may be hard to tell apart — until you look at the bark. Examine the intricate patterns and fascinating details of trees throughout the Ambler Arboretum on this Bark Walk. We will even bring materials to make bark rubbings and at the end of this adventure you will have your own colorful guide to tree bark! Bring your walking shoes, your questions, your four-legged friends and learn about the new Ambler Arboretum Dog Walkers Club! Information: or 267-468-8108.

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