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On Thursday night Robin and I went to the Count Basie Theatre to see Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer”. What a great performance he gave!
He started by saying that this was the first time he’d been to the same place 3 times. After much applause from the audience, he wondered out loud whether that meant he was a bad teacher or whether we just weren’t paying attention. Lol!
Using stories, videos, and live dogs on stage, he explained his philosophy of the proper relationships between humans and dogs. He felt that too often we treat animals as if they’re humans and not canines, and he poked fun at the silly things we do in the process. Millan said that Americans in particular tend to lavish affection on our pets, but don’t address their needs for exercise and direction.
The biggest lesson I learned from the show was that a dog’s nose controls about 60% of a dog’s brain. In a particularly impressive demonstration, he had volunteers from two animal rescue organizations try to walk their dogs across the stage in front of 3 bowls of dog food without eating any. Naturally the dogs smelled the food and tried to eat from each bowl. The trainers pulled on their leashes to prevent the dogs from eating. Then Cesar took each dog and showed how by changing the position of the leash and using sound and touch, he could gain the dogs’ attention so they ignored the bowls of food and just concentrated on walking with him.
In addition to teaching us about dogs, Mr. Millan shared some of his observations about Americans. An immigrant from Mexico, he of course shared some humorous experiences he had when he first moved to Los Angeles. In addition, however, he noted that while Americans are normally extremely confidant, they are rarely calm. Confident but not calm- that’s an interesting observation, don’t you think?
Living in Rumson-Fair Haven, we’re so fortunate to have the Count Basie Theatre and the Two River Theater Company so close by. There are so many wonderful performances available to us, and we shouldn’t under estimate how lucky we are. How many people can go out on a Thursday night, see a wonderful show, and be back home 10 minutes after it ends?
Mr. Millan, please come back a 4th time- we still have a lot to learn!