“The Pack Leader” Tour


April 4th was World Stray Animals Day, a day to remember there are over 600 million stray animals in the world that need rescue.

My own rescue child is from Peppertree Farms, a 16-year old Golden with horrible arthritis in his hind legs, a cyst the size of a marshmallow protruding from his tail and a missing front tooth that fell out years ago. His hearing is shot, his eyes are a mess and his breath smells. But I love him, so much so that I keep dropping half my income on his ailments.

The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan is the ambassador of World Stray Animal Day, and as luck would have it, he was at the Ulster Performing Art Center in Kingston last night. I bought tickets just in time before he takes the speaking tour overseas to Europe.

The canine specialist, a natural storyteller, shared dozens of tips and techniques on how to be a better dog owner. He used comedy, wit and demonstration to drive home the points of exercise (body), discipline (mind), and affection (heart).

His philosophies addressed dog owners who need to be aware of their “energy” to become stable pact leaders.

The crowd identified best with this mantra: “Dogs in other countries are skinny but they don’t have psychological problems. Dogs in modern countries are chunky and they have psychological problems.”

He was referring to the pervasive problem of treating our pets like children. The spoiling and pampering of pooches is certainly over-the-top in our pet-obsessed society.

But, unlike many countries, we do care and better to care too much than not enough.

After a short Q&A, Cesar Millan left the audience to ponder a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”