I had the recent pleasure and blessing of spending a couple of days in San Diego, California, USA with the world famous and number 1 Dog Whisperer from the hit TV series on National Geographic called the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.
During my time with him I got to spend one on one time with him, his team members, experience his live stage show, walk with a pack of dogs and finally, work with Americans and Canadians that love and seek the help and information on dog rehabilitation.
Background on Cesar Millan:
When Cesar was 13 years old, he told his mother that he wants to be the best dog trainer in the world and she turned around and said of course, yes, you can be what ever you want. When he was 21 years old on the 23rd December, he told his mom, “Mom I think that I need to go, I have to leave”, she replied, where are you going? Cesar said, I going to America. From that point on his goal was to come to LA because his goal was to go to Disney Land or Hollywood because that is where Lassie is Cesar said that he was just clear, to himself, he was just clear on who he wanted to be, failure is not an option. At one point he was called a Mexican guy who could walk a pack of dogs. Right now, he is called the Dog Whisperer. San Diego has significant meaning to him as it is the town where it all began. Cesar illegally entered the US and lived on the streets and under bridges. He literally lived on a dollar a day. Surviving by purchasing 2 sausages for US$0.99 from a local 7/eleven. He then managed to save an additional US$0.27 so that he could purchased a bottomless cup of soda. We wondered the streets and the only words he knew were “Do you have job application?” He was in California where he met two wonderful women of which he asked the question, “do you have job application”. The women started speaking very fast and he said back to them in spanish, hold on, wait, slower, I only speak spanish. The women who owned a dog grooming parlor guided him to the back to groom a vicious and aggressive mullteess. He just went there, picked up the clippers and groomed the dog. That day, the women gave him US$60 for the work done. He was so taken a back that he gave back fifty and thought in his mind this was too much, but the women insisted that was what he would earn. It was his first experience and joy of earning a great contrasting income and he purchased then a lot of hot dogs LOL. He then evolved onto being the young mexican that could walk a pack of 30 dogs off lead, Rottweilers, German Shepards and Pitbulls. He then later found out that it was illegal to do such a thing let alone him being an illegal immigrant. He then called his father and greatest mentor who always professed to never work against mother nature. Cesar called his dad to tell him that he has a job walking dogs. The father said what job do you have? He replied, dad, I’m a dog walker, his father said, what do people need you to walk their dogs for? This is because back in Mexico, dogs just walk free on the streets and get their food by waiting outside a store, there are no dog aggressive or imbalanced dogs. This is due to the culture that humans see dogs as dogs where in the US, humans see their dogs as children and give them birthdays where dogs don’t have birthdays in Mexico.
Experiencing the man from TV:
Cesar is a person who walks life with a great and straight posture, a smile on his face with his shiny veneers, trimmed signature facial hair, an Aura of control, confidence and a focus of living in the moment. The most comforting quality is his smile and great senses of humor. His live show event is more of a stand up comedy show of entertainment and laughter, rather than a workshop. On the stage he uses exaggerated movements, sounds, video displays, actual dogs and people to teach them about the basics of dog psychology. The shows are an hour long but that show feels super short and quick with the audience never left bored but rather with an ending outcome of happiness, joy and fun. His presentation is like a woman’s skirt. It’s revealing enough to gain your attention and focus, plus its short enough to keep you wanting more But his presentation skills were not always this amazing, when he first started out, he gave presentations to a group of people in a room with a powerpoint presentation that sometimes malfunctioned and when he held the mic, he projected a small and nervous mouse like voice, stuttering “exercise, discipline and then affection”. Just like his path of transformation has grown through life, this path of growth was due to the transformation that occurred in his dogs what he learnt from them. Cesar’s late sidekick Daddy was originally a shy and timid dog, but then transformed into the world’s most recognizable role model pitbull. As you can imagine, Cesar is a very grounded and humble man. He admits that his dogs always remind him to stay humble, grounded, thankful and most importantly, Calm and Assertive So no matter how famous he gets, the lights and fame of stardom will never get to him or send him down a path of darkness. Falling into a path of imbalanced energy will cause the dogs to no longer follow him. This is because dogs don’t see or know you by your title or accomplishments in life. They only know you by the energy you project in every moment.
Cesar’s sidekick Junior:
Junior is a small sized pitbull that is grey in color and 2 and a half years in age. He has a calm energy that is used to help rehabilitate other dogs through pure dog language. Seeing his interaction with other dogs is a fantastic way of displaying of how most humans have it completely the wrong way. When Junior meets another dog there is a communication of energy, body language and scent. At no point do you hear any vocalization. He was great at photo ops with Cesar picking him up in addition to allowing other dog owners to have their picture taken with him and with their own dogs together. This is a great display of the concept that a dog’s breed does not dictate its destiny. When you have calm submissive balanced dogs together, no matter what the breed there shall not be any concern for conflict. Dogs of all various breeds and sizes all walk and run together when the pack walks.
A path to becoming The Dog Whisperer:
Becoming a true dog whisperer is the same path as a Buddhist monk on the path to enlightenment. It requires the focus and meditation on one’s self and your connection to everything around you. Just like the path of enlightenment, there are only a handful of people in the world that have mastered such a feat, just like there are only a handful of people in the world that can do what Cesar and I can do to the extent that we can. Knowing one’s current and temporary limitations and setting one’s goal of truly mastering Dog Psychology is step 1. Some people have a more natural ability than others but technically anyone can become a true dog whisperer, however, like the path to enlightenment, it’s a way of life, a practice, a way of living by Mother Nature’s rules. It’s most important to never work against Mother Nature.
For those of you who have tried meditation or gone on a Zen meditation retreat you will experience and understand that going into a deep meditative state isn’t the easiest of things, and to get better at achieving such a Zen state requires one to work at it every single day and every single moment. Your dog is such a tool, and he shall help guide you and teach you the path to the attainment of balance in one’s life, thereby making you a dog whisperer to your own dog. It is very important to know and have faith in that any dog that has a psychological behavioral problem can be rehabilitated. So when your vet, friends, dog trainer and or animal behaviorists tells you that nothing can be done, then they have not tried everything. From Cesar’s experience and mine, any dog that has a psychological behavioral problem can be rehabilitated. This is evident by my 100% success rate thanks to my personal philosophy that failure is only when you give up. If you don’t give up, then you have not failed!
Cesar’s handling of fans, the camera’s and people’s questions and pleas for help: Walking with Cesar in public placed me into such a state of amazement. Members from the public would rush to him, telling him how much they love him, his show, how they watch it all the time. They shower him with queries for help with their problems and he quickly pulls out his index from his mind guiding the person who asked the question to a specific case that he had solved on his show and encourages them to view it and learn from it. One such example is when Cesar, Junior and I were walking the streets of San Diego looking for a coffee house. The coffee attendant that served us was making us a cappuccino with soy. She then asked a question about her problem of her dog constantly chasing her cat and as a result, her and her boyfriend have installed baby doors around the house. Cesar and I discussed how the best solution for the women would be to place the cat into a closed stroller and walk the cat with the dog together with the stroller in front. This forms a pack bond between the cat, dog and owner. When they return home they can have the cat in the stroller and dog in the home at the same time in the same room after the walk, when they both calm and relaxed then one can take the cage out of the stroller and have the two together.
Meeting his life mentor and teachers, they have questions about dogs and he has questions about life:
I as pleases to learn that the same role models that I had, learnt from and read about were the same as Cesar. This would probably the reason why Cesar and I are similar in our work. He has followed and met with his mentors such as Deepok Chopra, Dr. Jean Grey and Tony Robbins. He said it was a pleasure to have all of them as clients because they all have questions about their dogs and he has questions about life. He talks with presidents, astronauts and they are global leaders but they are all unable to walk their dogs. People who run a country, cant walk a dog, the dog walks them, this is because dogs don’t see you by your status or your title, they don’t know that you are the president, they just know you by your energy and this energy can’t be faked.
Divorce with his wife Illusion:
Cesar shared with me about his recent divorce with this wife which was filed before he left for his tour of the UK. He stated how it was a tough time in his life that he only got about 3 hours of sleep a night for 2 months. We discussed about what snapped him out of it was again being reminded by the dogs to live in the moment and move forward through life. For a man who just went through a divorce extremely recently, you would never have thought that he has split with his long time life partner. He said that he is a man of faith and a stronger believer of faith. He just focused on his faith to help guide him through everything. I then went on to ask him how he handled the fear and suffering? He stated that fear is easy and that it is just a mental state but it was his faith that helped pull hum through the suffering through the entire process.
The great news is that the two of them are still friends and share the joy and repressibility of raising their two sons.
Man of faith:
Cesar’s life and successes is a great testament to his faith. When he left Mexico with nothing, lived on the streets, worked in grooming parlors, in LA and now the leading Dog Whisperer in the world is all thanks to his great and clear faith in what he wanted to do with his life.
I enjoyed the common understanding that Mother Nature, the Universe and the foundation of most philosophy teachings is about instinct. Humans are not born evil and nor are animals. They instinctively pick up on the frequency resonance or harmonics in everything that surrounds us. Tapping into this frequency displays the message and instinctual understanding in relationships. Relationships with ourselves and relationships with everything around us. Cesar expresses the amazing thing with faith is that you don’t know when you’re going to get it or where else you will be in the future but, it’s important to keep the faith that the energy that’s around us will make it happen. He expressed how growing up and today all he had was instincts and spirituality. With this in mind his aim is to bring the attention to modern society is the importance of instincts and dogs follow instinctual pack leaders. They don’t follow intellectual, rational pack leaders or emotional pack leaders or spiritual pack leaders. It was great to hear the commonalities and common goals between the two of us. Yes there is close to a 20 year age difference between us, we had never met before, yet we both followed the path of spirituality and resonance of instinct through Mother Nature through the power of Dogs
Things to look forward to in the future:
After discussions with Cesar and his team, prospects are favorable for the production team to come film me and some cases that Cesar will get to have hands on experience with in South Africa. Discussions were also made on having Cesar live video streamed into my national road show and seminars coming up in the next year. This will enable a greater boost to Cesar’s dream of helping change the world through one dog at a time.
Cesar’s final send off to me was “James, Rule Africa with Calm Assertive Energy” – Cesar Millan, 2010. I shall do just that
This is James signing off after my experience of meeting a great teacher and mentor of mine.