Cesar Millan has established himself as the guru of the growlers, the dean of dogdom, the counselor of canines. Yes, Cesar Millan is the Dog Whisperer. Dog Whisperer can be seen on the National Geographic Channel, almost any time of day or night. Cesar tackles every type of canine psychosis, most times treating the neurosis of the owners, rather than the dogs themselves.
Probably the number one rated episode of Dog Whisperer, in my humble opinion, is "Chihuahuas from Hell," starring the wee devil accurately named "El Diablo." This episode highlights the "little dogs gone bad" - cute little bundles of teeth and attitude. These pint-sized pooches shiver and shake, but in their minds are ten feet tall and bullet proof. El Diablo is the worst of those on this show, initially untamable by Cesar and his crew. Ultimately, Cesar has to take El Diablo away from his family, to spend hours rehabilitating the little devil. Before the show is over, El Diablo is renamed Sammy Davis Jr., and is adopted by one of Cesar's production crew. No longer the Devil, Sammy is now the lovable lap dog he was born to be, born again at the hand of the Dog Whisperer.
Not only does Cesar rehabilitate those misbehaving mutts, he can also reach out to help the handicapped. My number two episode is the touching story of Binkey, the two legged mixed breed with no front legs. The pooch's owners have spent hours developing a variety of carts and mobility aids, only to have Binkey reject them. Once the apparatus was strapped onto Binkey, he froze. Displaying the most pitiful face you could imagine, Binkey just did not want to be in a cart. Cesar to the rescue! After checking out the various gadgets the owners had built, Cesar picked out the one he thought most likely to succeed. With patience, love and perseverance, Cesar entices Binkey to take one small step, then another. Soon with a mix of praise and confidence, Binkey is on his way to scooting around. Just like his human counterparts, Binkey did not want pity or a push; he needed to be a dog - one with confidence and new found independence. All he needed was the support of his family and someone to show him how to be himself.
My number three episode involves Wilshire, a Dalmatian pup that is adopted by the L.A. Fire Department. Before Cesar, the pup is unruly, runs at will and has a tendency to pee wherever he likes. Cesar shows the team of firefighters how to claim space and food to keep the mascot from eating everything that is left unattended and how to keep Wilshire safe, claiming space and blocking the dog from running out into traffic every time the door opens. Housebreaking is a breeze for the Dog Whisperer, training the firefighters that repetition and timing is everything. Floors are dry, meals are safe and so is Wilshire. This episode is near to my heart as my father was the local fire chief and I grew up around the fire house and Dalmatians. They can certainly be a difficult breed without the time and devotion of all the firefighters, on all shifts. Once trained, however, the Dalmatian will give back every bit of devotion and affection that it receives.
Another great episode is from season four. This is the episode involving Kathy Griffin, comedian, aptly named "My Life on the Dog List." Ms. Griffin had beaten Cesar out for an Emmy award and ends up putting the trophy on the line if Cesar can work his magic. Kathy's dogs are aggressive towards other dogs in the neighborhood. Although they reside in a very ritzy area, the dogs are as obnoxious as any junk yard mutts. Cesar spends a little time with the pooches and, as always, recommends exercise as the best medicine. Kathy Griffin is funny, as always, but not only adds humor to the episode. By offering up the Emmy, betting against the master, she solidifies the quality of the Dog Whisperer. Having taken the Emmy away from Cesar at the awards ceremony, it is only fitting that Cesar demonstrate, first hand, why he deserved it in the first place.
Of course you can't talk about the best episodes of Dog Whisperer without mentioning the one that started it all. Episode number one featured another one of those tiny terrors, Nu-Nu the Chihuahua. Nu-Nu was previously a stray and was adopted from a vet hospital by Tina, thinking Nu-Nu was just scared and in need of love. "After months of trying different methods and trainers (including one who suggested putting him down) and tons of love, I answered an ad on Craigslist that asked if you were at your wits' end and needed help with your aggressive dog," says Tina. The rest, as they say, is history.
Cesar Millan is the real thing. As entertaining as his show is, Cesar performs a real service for not only the people who own the dogs, but the dogs he treats, as evidenced by his 100th episode celebration and all of the successes that attended, both human and canine. Cesar touches lives, teaching people how to interact with their animals and in the process giving many animals that are unhappy the peace they need to live fulfilling lives with their owners.