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Cesar Millan, Cesar Milan, DogVacay

I’m in no way a Cesar Millan devotee.  I am a fan (although I misspelled his name in prior posts), because I love what he’s done to raise awareness of the importance of dog training, the human-animal bond, and the work he’s done for bully breeds.  Watching Cesar Millan interact with his dogs is next to amazing.  Our dogs walk like their fish caught on the end of a lure, they’re all over the place.  Cesar Millan’s dogs walk like a well-choreographed play – all together with the same goal.

I recently learned that DogVacay is sponsoring a contest to send a winner to Los Angeles to meet Cesar Millan and I wanted to share why I would love to win this contest (no voting by you is required so read on…).

I want to compare notes

Cesar Millan was born in August 1969.  He’s 2 years old than me.  First, I can’t believe that I’m that old and Second, I would love to hang with someone from my generation to talk about dogs.  We have such a different background that it would be interesting to compare notes on what life experienced groomed our love of dogs.

Cesar Millan has written books, has hosted television programs, and has a magazine.  I’ve written eBooks, I will be hosting an online radio program (please tune in), and I’m the Editor in Chief of an online magazine.  People ask me all the time how I do it all and I want to direct this question to him – how does he do so much?  Where does his drive and inspiration come from?

Given all that he has to offer, why attempt suicide?

Cesar Millan attempted suicide.  I’ve never tried to kill myself, but I do understand the despair that can lead you to such a choice.  My Achilles Heal is having my character described as negative and over the past year, I’ve been called selfish, a joke, conceited, a bully, passive aggressive (I can be, at times), negative, miserable, poison, and on and on.  Most of these names came from people I considered friends and family and it was difficult to move past.  It may sound morbid, but I want to understand why, with all his achievements and all that he can do to better the lives of dogs – why would he attempt suicide?

I want to talk about his training methods and his critics

“In 2006, Jean Donaldson, the San Francisco SPCA director of The Academy for Dog Trainers, criticized Millan for physically confronting aggressive dogs and using choke chains for fearful dogs. This criticism was published by the American Humane Association, which asked National Geographic to stop airing Dog Whisperer.” ~ Wikipedia

I would love to know more about how this made him feel and if he’s changed any of his training methods as a result of this criticism and subsequent concerns about how he trains aggressive dogs.  As I type this, I’m thinking of a dog trainer who was “kind enough” to tell me how disappointed she was in me when I first posted about Cesar Millan’s work to raise awareness of the beauty of the bully breeds.  Many people feel that he’s a bad guy – I’d prefer to meet him, talk to him, get his story, and then judge for myself.

I would like to share with him the story of watching a man at the dog park ‘teaching his dog a lesson’ and ‘showing his dog who’s the boss’ by performing an alpha roll over while we watched in horror as the dog cried.  I know the look on my face was of disgust, but just in case, I verbalized how I felt and the man never came near me again.  I blame shows like Dog Whisperer for these type of barbaric training methods novices are performing on their dogs.  I would love to talk to him about it.  I get that it’s not his fault directly, but these shows don’t always do enough to educate people about proper training methods nor do they provide enough warning about the dangers of some training methods.

“In November 2009, Millan invited the American Humane Association to the set of Dog Whisperer, at which time, according to Millan, “they changed their state of mind about what is cruel”. The association announced in February 2010 that despite “sharp differences of view in the past” and some lingering areas of disagreement, they shared many areas of interest with Millan. They also invited him that month to participate in a symposium on humane dog training “to discuss issues of concern”” ~ Wikipedia

I want advice on creating a bigger pack

I want to thank Cesar for “exercise, discipline and affection” – this is the only thing I chose to take with me after reading two of his books and watching many episodes of his television programs.  It’s brilliant and has worked well with our dogs.  I would like to know more about meeting new dogs, because we’re planning to foster soldiers’ dogs in 2014 and my boyfriend and I want to make this as smooth a transition as possible for those dogs.

What’s coming for Cesar Millan?

And finally, I would like to know what Cesar has planned for the future.  It would be amazing to see him heading up changes in legislation around the country to combat dog fighting rings, breed specific legislation, and puppy mills.  We need someone of his influence and popularity.  We may not agree with some of the things he’s done, but I think we can agree that he may be able to toss this ball further than many of us simply because he’s in the public eye.

You can enter the contest over on DogVacay’s site until August 31, 2013.

If you had an opportunity to meet Cesar Millan – what would you want to talk about?  And don’t hold back – let’s be honest (and polite).  I really want to know.

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