With continuing criticism of his methods, a suicide attempt in his not-too-distant past, and his reign as TV’s “Dog Whisperer” having ended, you might think Cesar Millan’s eight years of snowballing fame was starting to head in the other direction.
Probably, you’d be wrong.
Just two months after the “The Dog Whisperer” concluded its run – and two years after the death of his favorite dog, divorcing his wife, and dealing with a deep depression — a new show, a new wife and a new book (his seventh) are all on the horizon.
On top of that, he’ll be the subject of a documentary. In ”Cesar Millan: The Real Story,” airing Nov. 25 on Nat Geo Wild, he talks publicly for the first time about the overdose that almost took his life, according to the Associated Press
“It’s rare when someone with his level of celebrity is willing to completely open up and share the struggle and hardship it took to find success and happiness,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo Wild. “Cesar doesn’t hold anything back, and I’m certain our audience will feel even closer to him for it.”
Millan, 43, rose to fame in 2004, when his first TV series, “The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,” became National Geographic’s top-rated show.
His success story began in Mexico, where he worked on his grandfather’s farm in Sinaloa, and began working with dogs in hopes of becoming a trainer. At 21, unable to speak English, he crossed the border and lived on the streets for two months before getting a job as a groomer and walker when Jada Pinkett hired him. It was Pinkett, before she hooked up with Will Smith, who got him an English tutor when she learned he wanted to be on TV.
He’d go on to build an empire after that, starting a magazine, a philanthropic foundation, a rehabilitation complex, selling his own line of dog products and writing books. (His seventh, “A Short Guide to a Happy Dog,” is due out Jan. 1.)
In 2010 — amid all his fame and fortune — came some misery. He’d sunk into a depression after the death of his pit bull, Daddy, and a divorce from his wife and the mother of his two children. That May he attempted suicide by drug overdose.
“I felt defeated, a big sense of guilt and failure. … I was at the lowest level I had ever been emotionally and psychologically,” he wrote in on his website.
He turned to his dogs for comfort and support, and got more of that from a new human love in his life, Jahira Dar, who now lives with Millan and his youngest son in Los Angeles. He calls her “the one,” and says he plans to propose soon.
His new show, “Leader of the Pack,” will premiere on Nat Geo Wild Jan. 5.
While it will feature his “pack-leader” training philosophy, the new show, filmed in Spain, aims to increase rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of the species that has brought him fame, fortune and solace.
“A dog would never see me as a Mexican or immigrant or think things people say about me,” the AP article quotes him as saying. “Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cesar, cesar millan, daddy, death, depression, divorce, documentary, dog whisperer, dogs, leader of the pack, nat geo, nat geo wild, national geographic, new, overdose, pets, program, suicide, television, the real story, trainers, training, tv
A day after declining to respond to rising speculation that he had gotten a dog — prompted by a box of Milk Bones appearing in a family photo he tweeted — Vick released a statement through his publicist:
“I understand the strong emotions by some people about our family’s decision to care for a pet. As a father, it is important to make sure my children develop a healthy relationship with animals.
“I want to ensure that my children establish a loving bond and treat all of God’s creatures with kindness and respect. Our pet is well cared for and loved as a member of our family. This is an opportunity to break the cycle. To that end, I will continue to honor my commitment to animal welfare and be an instrument of positive change.”
Vick posted a photo on Twitter last week of his daughter and him seated at a table. A box of Milk Bone dog biscuits could be seen on the right side of the photo, next to a book or folder with puppies on the cover. The photo was later deleted and replaced with a similar photo in which the Milk Bones box didn’t appear.
Last Wednesday, he initially evaded questions about it, according to Philly.com, and seemed to say his personal life — even if he Tweets about it — is private.
“I’m here to strictly talk about football,” Vick said. “What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What’s most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting the win Sunday.”
Vick was barred from owning a dog during a three-year probationary period after his release from prison, where he served 19 months for owning and operating a dogfighting ring. He served an additional two months of house arrest after his release in May.
In July, as the probationary period drew to a close, he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he did not want to deprive his daughters from having a pet.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, box, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, michael vick, michael vicks new dog, milk bones, new, pets, philadelphia eagles, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, table, terms, treats, tweet, twitter
With Tim Burton’s new, animated, 3-D, full-length version of “Frankenweenie” scheduled to come out in October, we thought you might want to take a look at the original short version.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 30-minute, animals, back to life, dead, death, dogs, film, frankenstein, frankenweenie, full-length, movies, new, original, pets, reanimation, release, resurrection, short, tim burton
No animals, or babies, were harmed in the making of these videos.
The top one shows a one-year-old Siberian husky-Australian shepherd mix named Haiku going through his first car wash.
The second one shows an unidentified baby also experiencing a car wash for the first time.
I recommend starting them up at the same time.
Notice the similarities in reactions — namely, the bug-eyed look they both get, a seeming mix of horror, uncertainty and curiosity.
All of which proves nothing major — only that, for dogs and humans, a new environment is scary the first time you roll through it, especially one with noisy blasts of water, flailing sponge strips, whipping brushes and mounds of cascading suds that seem intent on burying you.
By the time we — dog or human — take our second trip through the car wash, though, it’s usually a different story. It’s not as scary. The baby, in fact, appears to be getting used to it by the end of the video, relaxing enough to enjoy a sip of his beverage.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, australian shepherd, baby, behavior, car wash, conditioning, dog, dogs, environment, fear, first time, haiku, horror, husky, mix, new, new situations, pets, video, videos
Given that the story of Mitt Romney’s dog, Seamus, refuses to disappear, some are suggesting “Seamus,” the old Pink Floyd song, should be revived as well, and perhaps played during his opponent’s campaign rallies.
The lyrics, what little there are of them, don’t exactly fit the tale of Romney’s dog and his 12-hour rooftop ride to Canada, but the 1971 song does have a sad and bluesy feel that seems just right.
Perhaps a slight reworking of the words could make it even more relevant to the 30-year-old story that David Letterman, Rick Santorum and others refuse to stop talking about – how the Romney family dog rode in a crate on the car roof to a family vacation, with a stop to hose him down after he soiled himself.
Here are the real lyrics of the Pink Floyd song, which already features haunting, dog-like howls:
I was in the kitchen,
Seamus, that’s the dog, was outside.
Well, I was in the kitchen,
Seamus, my old hound, was outside.
Well, you know the sun was sinkin’ slowly,
But my old hound dog sat right down and cried
Here are some suggested new ones (and yes, they are for sale), just in case Pink Floyd has any interest in redoing the song:
My dog was on the car roof
I was nice and comfy inside
Seamus, he didn’t mind it
A 12-hour trip, bonafide
Now, you know, I want to run the country
I hope that you don’t mind a bumpy ride
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, campaign, crate, david letterman, dog, dogs, hose, irish setter, lyrics, mitt romney, new, new lyrics, new version, opponents, pets, pink floyd, presidency, republican, rewritten, rick santorum, romney, roof, rooftop, seamus, song, suggested, the story of seamus, trip, vacation, video
United, which recently joined forces with Continental Airlines, has opted to adopt the defunct airline’s backwards pet policy. The new policy is stated on this page of United’s website.
What it all means is that the “friendly skies” of United will no longer transport any of these breeds:
- Pit Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Presa Canario
- Perro de Presa Canario
- Dogo Argentino
- Cane Corso
- Fila Brasileiro
- Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
- Ca de Bou
United will not accept members of those breeds, or mixes containing those breeds, once they have reached either 6 months of age or 20 pounds.
Additionally, United reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness.
The restrictions have nothing to do with the airline’s separate policy on short-snouted breeds for whom air travel, specifically in a cargo hold, can cause breathing problems. This is separate category for “dangerous” breeds.
“These kinds of breed discriminatory policies fuel the misconceptions about dogs like pit bulls that lead to breed bans and the deaths of thousands of innocent dogs,” reads a petition at Change.org, urging United to reconsider the policy.
The petition was started by Jessie Huart after she learned of the ban while trying to book a ticket to travel with her 10-year-old pit bull, Slaw.
“These types of policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Control Association argue that physical appearance isn’t an effective way to predict or address aggression,” the petition site says:
“United Airlines adopted the discriminatory policy … when it merged with Continental Airlines, making it the world’s largest air carrier and the only US-based airline that labels some dog breeds as “dangerous.”
“But while United is still adjusting to its merger with Continental, the company is listening closely to customer feedback. If thousands of dog-loving United customers sign Jessie’s petition, the airline will have to listen …”
(Photo: Slaw, a pit bull who won’t be flying United; courtesy of Change.org)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airlines, american staffordshire terriers, animals, ban, banned, ca de bou, cane corso, change, continental, dangerous, dog, dogo argentino, dogs, fila brasileiro, jesse huart, merger, new, perro de presa canario, petition, pets, pit bull, pitbulls, policy, presa canario, reconsider, slaw, tosa, tosa ken, travel, united
A year after 56 sled dogs were uncovered in a mass grave near Whistler, the British Columbia government has introduced a revised “code of practice” for the sled dog industry.
The Sled Dog Code of Practice sets standards for the care of dogs used for sledding, including new limits on tethering, and stricter regulations on the use of euthanasia, The Canadian Press reports.
But many believe the changes (see our comments below) don’t go nearly far enough.
The British Columbia SPCA uncovered 56 dead dogs last year, some of which had been shot, some with their throats cut. The mass grave came to light after an employee filed a worker’s compensation claim saying he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after killing the animals in a company-ordered cull.
“This document, both the code and the regulations, will help inform the industry (and) provide minimum standards that will improve working dogs’ welfare,” said Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the SPCA.
Moriarty, who helped develop the code, said it will lead to an end to near continuous tethering, which has been one of the main concerns about the industry. Under the new regulations sled dogs must get at least one opportunity a day to be off their tethers to socialize and exercise.
The new code imposes no limits on the number of dogs a sled dog operation can have, and it doesn’t stop sledding operations from culling their workers (dogs), but it emphasizes that killing sled dogs shouldn’t be used as a primary means of population control.
(Photo: British Columbia SPCA)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, british columbia, canada, code, cull, dog sledding, dogs, euthanasia, grave, killed, mass, new, pets, regulations, sled dogs, spca, tethering, tethers, whistler
Six new AKC-recognized breeds will be competing at Westminster this year, including a hairless Mexican dog known as the — I can spell it, I can spell it — Xoloitzcuintle.
The AKC announced the acceptance of three new breeds in January of last year — the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Norwegian Lundehund and the Xoloitzcuintli.
In June, three more new breeds were recognized — the American English Coonhound, Finnish Lapphund, and Cesky Terrier
The six new breeds bring the number of AKC recognized breeds to to 185.
By comparison, in 1990, there were 142 eligible breeds.
Here’s some background on each of the newly recognized breeds, provided by the AKC.
The American English coonhound is a descendent of the English foxhound and evolved from Virginia hounds. Originally used to hunt fox by day and raccoon by night, they were once called the English fox and coonhound.
The breed is pleasant, alert, confident and sociable with both humans and dogs. The modern version of the dog is a speedy, durable and wide-ranging hunter.
The Entlebucher mountain dog is a native of Switzerland and the smallest of the four AKC Swiss breeds. Prized for its work ethic and ease of training, this dog can easily switch from high-spirited playmate to serious, self-assured dog with a commanding presence.
This is not a good dog for the casual owner because it needs so much socialization and will remain active and energetic all its life.
The Finnish Lapphund is a reindeer herding dog from the northern parts of Scandinavia. It is thought that this breed existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years as a helper dog to native tribes. Today, they are popular as family pets in their native Finland. Devoted to their family, they are friendly with all people, highly intelligent and eager to learn. They are strong but very agile.
The Norwegian Lundehund is also called the puffin dog. It spent centuries on the rocky cliffs and high fields of arctic Norway hunting and retrieving puffin birds, which was an important meat and feather crop to local farmers.
This dog has at least six toes on each foot so it can handle the almost vertical areas where puffins nest. It also has a flexible skeletal structure that enables it to squirm out of tight spots or go spread eagle to prevent slips and falls.
The Cesky terrier is a well-muscled, short legged hunting terrier that can be worked in packs. With natural drop ears and a natural tail, it is longer than it is tall and has a long, soft, silky coat that can be any shade of gray from charcoal to platinum.
Lean and graceful, the dogs are reserved toward strangers but loyal to their owners and always keen and alert during a hunt.
The Xoloitzcuintli , or Xolo, for short, is the national dog of Mexico and was previously known as the Mexican Hairless. It comes in three sizes and there is a coated version seen only in the United States and Canada. These dogs are descendants of the hairless dogs prized by the Aztecs and revered as guardians of the dead.
Living in the Mexican jungles, they were shaped by their environment. Their intelligence, trainability and natural cleanliness have turned them into unique and valued pets.
(Top photo from Vetstreet.com; other photos courtesy of American Kennel Club)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american english coonhound, american kennel club, animals, breeds, cesky terrier, dog show, dogs, entlebucher mountain dog, finish lapphund, new, norwegian lundehund, pets, recognized, westminster, xolo, xoloitzcuintle
Less forgiving is the town of Carl Junction, where their displaced family moved afterwards — only to find out that pit bulls and Rottweilers are illegal.
Carl Junction is one of many cities and towns around the country that have legislation prohibiting pit bulls and other breeds within the city limits, according to The Joplin Globe, which reported on the family’s situation this week.
And city officials are unwilling to make an exception to the rule, meaning Dave DeWolfe and his family — who followed the sounds of the whimpers and rescued their dogs after the tornado — will now be required to give them up, at least if they want to stay in Carl Junction.
After the tornado, DeWolfe’s daughter, Janelle Mawhinney, provided temporary shelter for family members at her apartment, but she couldn’t take the dogs. They were placed in a temporary shelter set up by the ASPCA.
Every day, DeWolfe says, they’d stop in to visit. In July, they found a new home in nearby Carl Junction, reclaimed their dogs and moved in.
“We thought it was too good to be true: a decent neighborhood, a good price, everything came through with the bank, and we were so happy about it,” he said.
Not long after settling in, they were reading a “welcome” packet from the city when they saw that Carl Junction’s hospitality didn’t extend to pit bulls and Rottweilers. Neither are permitted with the city limits.
Then, this month, DeWolfe was informed by the city’s animal control officer that he was violating the city ordinance. He went to the city council, saying he would do ”whatever it takes” to keep the dogs, even if it meant crating or muzzling them.
“It’s my fault,” he said. “I should have checked the laws.”
City council members said they didn’t want to set a precedent by allowing the family to keep the dogs.
Carl Junction’s ban on the two breeds was put in place in 1995. It carries fines of $200 to $500. The only exception to the law is for dog owners who registered with the city prior to the ordinance going into effect.
DeWolfe and his wife have turned to Craigslist in an attempt to find the two dogs a permanent home.
“We try to work with our residents whenever we can,” Carl Junction Police Chief Delmar Haase said. “But approving one would set a precedent. We’ve had this ordinance for quite some time, and all the dogs grandfathered in under it are now gone. We’ve had quite a few requests and if you open it up to one, you’ve just defeated your ordinance.”
Defeating, if you ask me, is just what the ordinance needs.
(Photo: By T. Rob Brown / Joplin Globe)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, banned, bans, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, bsl, carl junction, dave dewolfe, displaced, dogs, home, joplin, kain, kita, law, missouri, new, ordinance, pets, pit bulls, rottweilers, survivors, tornado
The Shelter Pet Project has unveiled a new series of public service ads, all featuring pets talking about their owner’s quirks.
As a follow up to its “Mutts” ads – a stylish series of animations by Patrick McDonnell, creator of the “Mutts” comics — the Shelter Pet Project campaign shifts from portraying the heartwarming benefits of adopting animals to looking at humans through pets eyes.
In the one above, two dogs comment on the flirtatious behavior of their humans. Below, a dog wonders if his human truly understands the game of hide and seek.
The ads end with the tagline: “A person is the best thing to happen to a shelter pet. Be that person.”
The Shelter Pet Project is a public service ad campaign sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund in partnership with the Ad Council.
You can see all the new ads here.
(All of our “Woof in Advertising” selections can be found archived here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad council, ads, advertising, behavior, campaign, commercials, dogs, dogs in advertising, hsus, humane society of the united states, humans, maddie's fund, marketing, mutts, new, psa, quirky, shelter pet project, woof in advertising