Cesar's Way -- A Review

 |  Apr 28th 2006  |   9 Contributions


Cesar's Way cover

Here's the REALLY short review of Cesar's Way -- Get it! Read it! Live it! IF and this is the BIG IF, you're a Cesar fan.

I admit going into Cesar's Way that I am a Cesar Milan fan. But that said, I was prepared for the book to be less than interesting or even useful. I am not a great fan of semi-ghosted biographies and Cesar's Way had that look. Having been around dogs and other animals for over thirty years I wondered what I would learn. After all, I've dealt with "red zone" dogs (I've even single-handedly been in the midst of and/or broken up a couple of fights between 80+ pound males). But I have learned a great deal watching "The Dog Whisperer" work his magic on the National Geographic Channel (NGC) so when I saw the book in the airport I grabbed it. Am I ever glad I did!

I was on my way to a convention to talk about Haint and writing and all that other stuff writers do at conventions. I knew I would have a good time but what I didn't know was that I was going to be forced to interact with a human in the "red zone." Fortunately I had read Cesar's Way and was able to use some of the same techniques he advocates with this human who, if he had been a dog, might have bitten me and been sent to the humane shelter or even Cesar for rehabilitation. It all worked out because as one of the other authors said, "I practiced calm, assertive energy."

Now why am I telling you this story in a book review? It's because Cesar's Way is MUCH more than just a dog-training book. It's more than an autobiography of a man who started on a farm in Mexico and through life's twists and turns became the face of dog psychology for many Americans, including famous Americans such as Oprah. It's a book about how we accept and meet life and the world around us; most especially dogs. Cesar chronicles his inner growth from his childhood on a loving but dirt-poor farm in rural Mexico, through his life in Mexico City and his illegal entry into the States. From the first cleaning job in a dog bathing business on through the serendipitous events which took him to his present life as the dog whisperer.

This is an almost painfully honest walk though Cesar's life. But he does it so we understand how and why he sees dogs as he does. The background of Cesar's humanity makes it easier to grasp his canine connections.

And yes, Cesar does outline his methodology but you can't use it unless you learn to monitor yourself and how your behavior affects others around you, even "red zone" humans who have no idea what you're doing. The book has more about the hours of exercise Cesar employs in rehabilitation and the failures of the humans that cost their dogs their freedom.

So what's the verdict? If you like the Cesar Milan you see on NGC, you'll love the book. If you're not wild about Cesar, you might want to skip the book because there will be no big surprizes here. Its Cesar Milan and dogs, plain and simple. And I suspect that's exactly how he wants it.

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