Thursday, October 25, 2007
He trains dogs...he rehabilitates people. Cesar Millan is my hero. Watch a couple of episodes of "The Dog Whisperer" on National Geographic (Nat Geo now per their announcers), and you may feel the same way. Mr. Millan is one of the most reasonable and, (to his canine customers and their hapless human families), powerful people on the planet Earth. Over the past few seasons that this show has aired, he has taken on the large (a Great Dane afraid of slippery floors), the medium (a bulldog obsessed with attacking skate board riders) and the microscopic (a terrifying teacup sized Chihuahua who hated nearly everyone). Cesar Millan comes to the rescue when people who love their dogs, have dogs that make you want to run screaming towards the nearest high rise balcony and pitch yourself over the side.
His rules are simple, and established clearly in the beginning of every episode, no matter how challenging the dog or nutcase human consort. "Set boundaries. Stay calm and centered. Show no fear. Be patient. Always, and every day....walk, walk, walk." It sounds like an awful self-help mantra, but the producers of The Dog Whisperer have cleverly focused on dogs and owners that are incredibly troubled or weird, but at the same time sympathetic. If you watch the first few minutes, it is impossible to not stick around for the outcome.
Calm and centered is good advice for two legged humans and four legged furry canine friends alike. Obviously, The Dog Whisperer, is about dogs. But what I really love about this show is how wonderfully Cesar Millan reacts with the dog families. From the billionaires in Beverly Hills with a dyed pink petite poodle, to the nice gay couple with a show dog or the suburban family with a pooch who can't stay out of the backyard pool. Cesar Milan helps them all, without being maudlin or apologetic for insisting that what what both dogs and people need most is a little discipline, a lot of exercise and some calm and centered understanding.
Now...if only we could convince him to do cats!