If you're like most Americans, you have a love affair with dogs, and like most Americans, you've probably owned or encountered a troubled dog. There's nothing fun about aggressive or otherwise bad behavior from our canine friends, but thankfully, we have Cesar Millan to set us straight!
Star of National Geographic's hit show, The Dog Whisperer, Millan came to America from Mexico in the early 1990s and lived on the streets of San Diego until he found work as a dog groomer. Here's an excerpt from from his page at notablebiographies.com:
The U.S.-Mexico border proved the greatest obstacle to Millan's plan, however, and he decided to enter illegally by paying a guide to take him north from the foothills around Tijuana, the border town opposite San Diego. He made it safely across, but wound up living on the streets of San Diego for a month before he was able to find work. His first job was at a dog-grooming business, and when clients saw how well he soothed their nervous canines they began asking him if he could train the animals, too.
Millan eventually bought a used van and started a dog training business out of it. Then, in 1998, he opened his Dog Psychology Center in south-central L.A. As his A-list Hollywood celebrity clientele grew, it led to an offer for his own show:
The Dog Whisperer was a hit for the National Geographic Channel, and soon went from a half-hour to full-hour format; in its third season in 2006–07, it was the cable channel's top-rated series, and even earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Reality Program. Millan's first book, Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems , was co-authored with Melissa Jo Peltier and was published just as the second season of his show began airing in the spring of 2006; it soon reached the New York Times bestseller list.
My last two dogs, including our current pet, Red Dog, have been the most well-behaved pets I've ever owned, and for that, I'm very thankful to Millan. Thanks to his techniques, we are relaxed pet owners who are able to enjoy our dog in a variety of situations. We are no longer one of those dog owners who scream their pet's name repeatedly at the dog park to no avail. Thanks, Cesar!
Cesar Millan is certainly an immigrant living the American dream. He started with nothing, made his own way, and is now a productive citizen doing what he loves.