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The world's most famous dog whisperer walks into a function room in Temasek Club, his burnished complexion setting off his pepper-and-salt hair and gleaming white teeth. Short but Why did cesar get divorced built, Cesar Millan is snazzily dressed in a tight olive polo T-shirt, white jeans and metallic silver sneakers.
His swagger is tempered by a charming affability and openness, a quality common in folks who have scaled dizzy heights as well as hit rock bottom. Born into a poor family in Mexico, the year-old entered the United States illegally when he was 21 and went on to become a dog behaviourist extraordinaire, with his own globally syndicated TV series Dog Whisperer and several books. But success brought more than just fame and wealth; it also weighed him down with pressures, both internal and external. It came to a head in when he felt so lost, betrayed and barren that he tried to kill himself by swallowing a cocktail of pills.
It doesn't happen to a lot of people but I was glad I could get back my passion, my focus and my leadership skills," says Millan who was in Singapore recently to shoot Cesar's Recruit: Asia, a new TV series which sees him traversing the continent in search of the best dog trainer.
Until he was five, Millan, the second of five children, lived on a village farm in Sinaloa in north-western Mexico.
His father was a farmer turned photographer; his mother, a seamstress. So my grandfather always had a pack of dogs. From his grandfather, he inherited a unique way with dogs - one which led to him being nicknamed El Perrero or "the dog boy". Books did not interest Millan but animals did. By the time he was 13, he knew he wanted to go to the US, learn to become a dog trainer and come back to open his own dog-training facility.
Why America and why dog training? After finishing high school, he spent a few years working at different jobs. He tucked the money into his shoes and hightailed it to Tijuana where he tried to find, over two weeks, the best way to cross the border. I was 21, had never been outside my state and there I was in another state about to do something illegal.
If you were not careful, you could end up having your organs sold," he says. Why did cesar get divorced took us eight hours," he says. That night and for the next two months, he slept on a piece of cardboard under a freeway, together with other illegals and homeless Americans. One day, he entered a pet grooming salon and mouthed the only English sentence he knew to the two Caucasian women inside: "Do you have any application for work?
Although he did not understand their replies, he soon made out they needed help grooming an aggressive cocker spaniel. He proved to be so indispensable that the two women even gave him the keys to the premises when they knew he was homeless. He slept on a park bench on his first night in Los Angeles. The next day, he thumbed through the Yellow s and called up kennels, looking for work. A Hispanic dog trainer in Burbank gave him a job as a kennel boy. Where I was from, dogs were never kept in cages," he says.
When I asked for permission, I got fired," he says, shaking his head. Not long after, he found himself a facility - a warehouse in a parking lot - in Los Angeles' South Central neighbourhood, which he called The Dog Psychology Centre. A Cuban allowed him free use of the premises. In return, Millan and his dogs provided security services.
Three years after Why did cesar get divorced arrived in the US, he got his green card. I got married and started paying bills and taxes," says Millan, now a US citizen. A journalist from Los Angeles Times newspaper trailed him for three days, and wrote a feature on his winning ways with canines.
You have people coming from England to see you.
What would you like to do next? Millan knew exactly how he wanted Dog Whisperer to be. His key message is: Dogs are pack animals and need a calm assertive leader.
To turn them into balanced animals, they need exercise, discipline and affection, in that order. Dog Whisperer premiered in September on the National Geographic channel. Within a year, half-hour episodes became hour-long ones screened during prime time. It was syndicated to more than 80 countries, attracting audiences in the tens of millions.
When your feet are not on the ground, your dogs won't listen to you.
Their reactions told me I was in trouble," he says. In the world of animals, fame and wealth and power do not exist. His career soared. Why did cesar get divorced just when all seemed hunky-dory, things came crashing in His beloved sidekick Daddy - an American pit bull terrier - died. Ilusion filed for divorce.
And although he naively believed that Dog Whisperer was his, he found out that the production company owned all the rights. We a lot of things but we don't know what we are ing I felt I had no worth. A new woman, Jahira Dar, came into his life. His life is going swimmingly but the man is not without his detractors. A New York Times columnist once called Millan "a charming, one-man wrecking ball" with a "one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach to dog training".
Last year, animal lovers complained to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control and petitioned Nat Geo to cancel Cesar after a pig was bitten by a bulldog he trained on the show. The channel defended its star, saying the short clip shared online did not include "the full Why did cesar get divorced of the encounter" and that he created a safe environment to rehabilitate the bulldog's aggression. He writes in his latest book: "Dogs taught me how to go after my dreams, how to fall in and out of love, how to bear disappointment, how to weather loss, how to laugh with abandon, and how to move on and forgive.
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But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. After his divorce and suicide attempt, Cesar Millan swore to live by a new maxim: ownership, control and leadership. He has found a new love and developed other TV series including Dog Nation, which he co-hosts with his elder son Andre. Wong Kim Hoh. Share gift link below with your friends and family. Link Copied! Copy gift link.
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Read and win! Let's go! Frequently asked questions. Good job, you've read 3 articles today! Spin the wheel for ST Read and Win now. A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 02,with the headline 'Back to being top dog after very low point'.Why did cesar get divorced
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