Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is Cesar Millan The Gay Communities "Supernanny"??

OK, I admit, I’ve gotten sucked into episodes of ‘‘The Dog
Whisperer’’ and been intrigued by Cesar Millan’s magic with canines. The
guy’s likable enough, and he’s an animal lover (I presume), so I give him
points for that. And I’ve even tried his training methods (sort of) with my
dopey but headstrong Rottweiler. But for some reason I’m not completely
sold. The skeptic in me says that this Mexican guy hit the jackpot one day
when he realized he could make a buck by convincing desperate
shitzu/pitbull/goldendoodle/shepherd owners that he could rehabilitate
their growly, ill-behaved terrors.
You see, I don’t quite get how the whole thing works. Have you seen
the show? If not, basically Cesar is summoned to the home of an exasperated
(and often illiterate) dog owner who has allowed her pet to run her life.
Naturally they show film footage of the dog at its worst, perhaps barking
viciously at the mailman or devouring the neighbor’s kitty. The dog, it
seems, is a lost cause.
But have faith! Cesar Millan has arrived! And within the course of a
visit, it seems, he has squashed the offending animal’s spirit and cast his
odd spell on it. And all it took was a few strong yanks of the leash
accompanied by an odd ‘‘SSSTT!’’ sound!
Now, obviously Cesar is a trained, accomplished animal behaviorist,
and his methods seem to work... somehow. But even I know that
rehabilitating a wayward animal takes more than a few leash tugs and some
strange nonhuman verbal cue. There must be more that they’re not showing
us. Like when that evil Chow nipped two of Cesar’s fingers off and he
lobotomized it afterward; or when they performed vocal chord surgery on
that yappy terrier. Suppose that’s not suitable family viewing.
My other major problem with Cesar is that he insists on treating
these dogs like.... like, well, dogs! He frowns on allowing them on the
furniture... he discourages ‘‘baby talking’’ to them... he insists they
don’t share our food.... and, worst of all, he bans them from his bedroom.
Huh? If I didn’t have my dog to snuggle with each night, who would keep me
warm and toasty (suppose my partner could... but let’s keep her out of
this). Anyway, my point is, Cesar doesn’t approve of assigning human
qualities to our dogs. Don’t ask me why. I’ve had dogs that are more human
than, well, some humans I know! They’ve certainly exhibited more feelings
and emotions than those humans, and more loyalty, and more devotion, and
more consistency, and more love.
Anyway, those are my problems with Cesar. Of course, if Mr. Millan
were to show up at my doorstep one day, I’d invite him in. In fact, I might
even ask him about this barking problem I’m having with one of my dogs, and
this aggression problem I’m having with another. Oh, and maybe he could
help me sort out why my little boxer insists on picking on big dogs that
can devour her in one bite.
Ahh, who am I kidding. I could use Cesar’s advice, and I’m in awe at
his magic touch with animals. I love his show, and I try to follow his
advice. In fact, I wish I could communicate with dogs as well as he can.
The bottom line, you see, is this: I’m jealous.

1 comment:

Lavender Jane said...

I have to admit that I used to be enamored by Cesar Millan, but I firmly believe in doing my homework and what I found wasn't always so favorable. You might find this article in SFGate interesting.