I have a hill behind my house, going down it is the only way to get from the upper yard to the lower yard. It needs to be safe, but it also needs to be attractive- as you can see it-clearly-from the living room. Also, when it rains, it becomes a raging waterfall.
I am considering putting in stone flagstone steps- like the idea pics above. With a slight curve (pulling the stairs away from the house) they should direct the ragine torrents of rain water away from the basement. Larger stones should be safe to walk down- for both the boy and the old dog.