Rehabilitation for dogs and humans

Rehabilitation for dogs and humans

Weeks ago, the National Geographic channel showed two shows back to back regarding pit bulls.  The first show was Cesar Milan’s The Dog Whisperer.

The second show was Dogtown’s special 2-hour episode on Michael Vick’s pitbulls that he and his associates had brutally forced to fight and breed.   Of the 54 pits, 25 of them have been rescued and adopted by 25 volunteer foster homes.  22 of them have been at Best Friends to be rehabilitated, so that they can eventually be completely socialized with humans and, hopefully, fellow dog companions.  I do not know what happened to the other 7.

I am writing about this because the two shows had countless messages about how we as a people treat ourselves and our pets.  To paraphrase Mark Doty, author of DOG YEARS, the way we treat our animals is an example of how we treat human beings.

In The Dog Whisperer, this one episode shined light on only one family with two pitbulls, as opposed to three or four families with their own individual dog issues.  In this particular episode, two artists rescued a pitbull.  She was a great dog and the wife decided to rescue another pitbull.  The second dog’s name is Trinity.  Trinity and her buddy got along very well.  One day, the family of four went to a dog park and noticed a police officer with two well-trained Rottweilers.   The two artists asked the man how his dogs were able to behave so well and the police officer explained to them that he hired a trainer for two weeks.  His Rottweilers spent two weeks with a trainer and went home fully trained and extremely reliable.  The two artists were amazed and called the same trainer immediately.  On the day before the two weeks were up, the artists called the trainer.  The trainer disappointedly told the owners that the two pitbulls had been fighting and that they had achieved no positive training results.  The goal to train the pitbulls was a failure.

The artists found that when they took their two pitbulls home, they were constantly fighting.  Prior to the dog training, there were never any fights between the two dogs.  They had no idea what had gone wrong during their training.  They moved from the city life into a house with spacious land, thinking that their larger home and plot of land would give the dogs more happiness and ease the tension.  That did not work.  They kept the dogs separated and crated whenever they were not home.  Their home video footage revealed the bloody fights that the dogs could get into.  It was every bully-breed owner’s nightmare.  Being the owner of now three Staffordshire bull terriers, I can attest to that concern.  The owners were powerless to their dogs and could not control their dogs’ behavior around each other.

The artists resorted to calling Cesar Millan and he dedicated an entire episode to this “red zone” case.  Cesar chose to take Trinity home because she was the one from the abused past as a puppy and she seemed to be the one initiating all the fights. He required her to be with his pack at the dog psychology center for, at least, two months.  They were happy that Cesar took the case and were hopeful that their lives would change for the better.  After one month, the aggressive “red zone” Trinity transformed to a healthier, happier and trustworthy dog.  Cesar rehabilitated her and she was dog and human friendly.  She was the case that everyone expected.  A loyal viewer of the show like myself would naturally assume that the artists would visit halfway through the training and just be jubilant at the progress that the dog had made.  Unfortunately, the couple did not arrive to that.  They had a four hour drive to Cesar’s camp and were frustrated and tired due to the traffic in LA.   Almost from the moment the wife rejoined her dog, Trinity reverted to her old self.  The entire staff had to break up a fight that she initiated with a fellow pitbull.  It took minutes for the dogs to let go of each other.  Blood shed and the female owner of Trinity was frantic.  Everyone-the male owner, Cesar, Cesar’s production crew and the trainers all stayed calm during the havoc, while the female owner was screaming at the top of her lungs at her dog.  The female owner was not centered.  Even a blind person  could tell that the problem was not the dog nor anyone else in the camp. The female owner obviously brought some type of negative energy that disrupted Trinity who was surely on her way to complete recovery.  The setback was enormous and Cesar said something that I had never witnessed on his show.

After calming the situation, his people and his dogs, Cesar did not hesitate to propose to Trinity’s owners that they seriously consider giving up Trinity for one of his dogs.  “My advice,” offering humbly, “you give me Trinity and you can take any one of my dogs.”  At first, I was confused as I am sure were Trinity’s owners.  He looked at the female owner with great sincerity and reminded her where other dogs and other owners are usually at by one month into the training.  He said that Trinity was severely abused and that only a camp like Cesar’s could rehabilitate her to being calm and submissive again, consistently for the rest of her life.  He shared his own concerns that this woman’s energy would never hesitate to cause Trinity to go into red zone again and again.  Trinity had been well-behaved for many weeks and had never shown any aggressive behavior once rehabilitation had begun under his training.  Trinity was not just another dog on the show.  Trinity consumed a tremendous amount of Cesar’s time and attention.  When he initially met Trinity and decided to make her a temporary pack member at his dog psychology center, he had to wait 5 weeks of production work and other episodes to shoot before he could take on her case.  As soon as Trinity joined the pack and crew, Cesar took her as one of his own.  She did not sleep at the center at night as the other invited dogs would do.  Instead, Trinity would go home with Cesar and join the pack at his own house-Cesar’s own family dogs.  Trinity traveled with Cesar on production days, as would Daddy, Cesar’s own pitbull who is now 14 years old.  Trinity had to be watched, trained and loved 24 hours a day by Cesar and his immediate family and crew.  Cesar’s care for Trinity could not take a break.  These details are to inform the audience that Cesar knew Trinity’s extremely negative and positive potentials and stayed hopeful in her better personality.   He believed that Trinity could not rehabilitate just on her own with his dogs at the center.  She required Cesar to constantly be by her side in order to make a complete change.  In her transformation, he saw happiness in Trinity and a sense of self-security.

Unfortunately, Trinity immediately saw that this sense of security was not nurtured by her owners, especially the wife.  It was heartbreaking for the wife to receive these news.  This was her dog more so than the first pitbull.   She rescued this one on her own, so naturally, she was more closely attached to Trinity.  Cesar sent the couple back home on a four hour drive with homework to come to a conclusion.  Either give up their dog or face the blood should they decide to take her home, a lifestyle that Trinity was improving herself on.  As far as everyone was concerned, Trinity was not healthy around her “mom.”

After great consideration, the owners decided to work on themselves in order to earn their dog once again.  Trinity’s mom called Cesar and said that she was going to improve herself, so that she can be a healthier pack leader, exactly what Trinity needed most.  Trinity had already proven herself to her canine peers and to her other human guardians that she can be trusted.  Unfortunately, that reliability disintegrated around her mom.  Her mom took up yoga and really worked on bringing herself to a calm, quiet place deep within.  She centered herself and faced her own fears and insecurities.  Trinity’s mom worked on herself to become a healthier and happier human being.

At least a month later, Cesar brought Trinity to her parents’ house.  They made sure to make the transition calm, centering and welcoming in every angle.  The audience could easily read Cesar’s concern and his hope that Trinity’s parents really were successful in their endeavors.  Everything laid in their energy.  He introduced Trinity back to the yard with his own pack.  Trinity met her mom again and then her dad.  After the positive energy was established, they reintroduced her buddy at home, the other pitbull.  This was the grand moment, whether or not the other pit, Cesar’s pack and Trinity could get along very well.  They did in fact and Trinity felt safe and happy.  Everyone felt safe, secure, peaceful and trustworthy.

Months later, Trinity’s parents exclaimed that the family was still a harmonious, loving and happy family.  The two dogs and the two owners were all happy and healthy.  They sent home video footage to show the dogs drinking together from the garden hose.  They were running around, playing and practically laughing with each other.  It was a beautiful testimonial to not only Cesar’s work with Trinity, but her parents’ commitment to themselves to make their lives more healthy, more centered and more peaceful.

At Cesar’s 100th episode, Cesar’s numerous successful cases showed up in his honor.  They celebrated calm, submissive and happy dogs and, of course, owners.  I couldn’t help but hear many words that I use in my own clinic directly out of Cesar’s mouth:

“Everything is energy.”

“Don’t try.  Just do it.”

“Live in the present.  Your dogs don’t live in the past.  No matter what happened to them in their past, they still live in the present.”

I loved it. I rejoiced in the words that seemed to resonate with everything I say in my clinic and throughout all areas of my life.  Trinity is one strong example of how the most beaten down soul can and will heal.  Those 22 pitbulls rescued from Michael Vick’s camp who are rehabilitating at Best Friends are on their path of healing, too.  Georgia, a female whose teeth were obviously removed by a skilled veterinarian, was strapped against her will to be raped by multiple dogs while she was in heat.  By having no teeth, she could not fight back.  Her rehabilitation is miraculous and continues on.  A bait dog, Cherry, who was once completely timid was able to be rehabilitated and be very confident with other dogs.  People force bait dogs to fight stronger and more capable dogs, so that the stronger dogs can viciously “destroy” the bait dogs in order to gain more confidence prior to a real fight.  The champion fighting dogs are being rehabilitated to play with other dogs with no aggression and be completely human-friendly.  The dogs adopted out and the dogs being rehabilitated are miracle cases.  All of these trainers must be centered and have a sense of “I can and I will” attitude.  All of those trainers are like Cesar, but in their own uniqueness to work and accomplish miracles with these abused dogs.

I have been with all types of breeds since I was a little girl.  It’s not the breed, it’s the human.  A loving heart will raise loving hearts.  An insecure heart will breed insecure hearts.  An abusive heart will create  abusive hearts. Is this always the case?  Many times.  I have been raised with love, abuse, insecurities, confidence and doubts.  Who won most of the time, the traits that I focused on.  There is a saying: there are two wolves within a man: the vicious killer and the loving soul.  Which one wins?  The one that the man feeds.  I shared the above stories about the dogs to explain that we all have to look at ourselves and figure out where we stand in life.  How do we treat ourselves?  How do we treat others?  Would our energy keep a dog calm or stir up their aggression?  Would our energy keep our children loved, happy, calm and confident or stir up their fears, aggression, insecurities and self-doubts?  How much of our lives are spent blaming the past, others: our neighbors, co-workers, spouses/life-partners, friends, enemies, government,  economy, bosses, parents, siblings, etc., and the “situation that we are in?”  How much of our lives are spent blaming our health?  It is as if we have no ability to heal ourselves.  Look at these dogs.  Raped, whipped, exercised beyond their limits to the point that they contract “incurable” diseases, yet with LOVE they have shown with case after case that some kind of miracle happens and the lab tests prove that the dog is no longer “incurable.”  The inevitable organ failure that the doctors and staff awaited for one particular dog to die with over night proved powerless to the love that was fed to the dog.  The dying dog lived and miraculously gained weight, improved overall, though he must be monitored from time to time that his blood cells continue to be healthy.  No one knows if this dog will live a long, healthy life…but right now he is living a very healthy and happy life.

If you have read this far, then I applaud you and your patience.  If you are wondering why I am sharing these dog stories with you, then please let me answer your question.  None of those dogs rehabilitated without the humans being centered.  In fact, one of them had to actually rehabilitate herself in order to get her dog back.  In the field of “healing,” my primary job is to bring myself into good health and harmony every day.  Only by me being centered can I expect others around me to come to a state of tranquility, love, forgiveness, appreciation and healing.  My second job is to promote healing to others.   The method that I happen to use is Chinese medicine.  That’s all.  “Everything is energy.”  EVERYTHING IS ENERGY.  Money is energy.  Time is energy.  Relationships are energy.  Self-confidence, self-trust, self-worth and self-knowledge are all energy.  There’s either good energy and or there’s bad energy.  We are either living in the past or we are inspired in the moment.  You can read a few of my posted testimonials and come to an easy conclusion that all I do is stick needles in people, administer herbs and somehow a lot of patients get better.  To assume that would be to only know less than half of my work.  The absolute nature of my work is to inspire others’ spirits, minds and bodies to come into alignment -all with the guidance of their energy being positive, motivating, accepting, non-judging, non-blaming and appreciating EVEN during the crises of our world.

I wrote this to let you know that healing comes from within and from the love around you.   If you or someone you know is unhealthy, deals with pain or feels depressed, then healing can only take place within and being with people who love you.  No medicine outside of you can make you come to a complete state of healing.  You can do therapy or take medicine to get by, but in order to HEAL completely and live the life you want to live, you have to find that love somewhere within to even appreciate the love that people give you.  When you or your friend need guidance, that’s when people like me jump start the healing process.  In order to get to that final stage of healing, it takes work, perseverance, love and appreciation of all things.

When you or someone you know is genuinely ready for body, mind and spirit realignment and rehabilitation, please visit me at to know me a little better or better yet, you can call me 949.305.1703.  It takes a broken soul who knows how to heal in order to understand and guide others who experience pain, loss, anxiety, fatigue and lack of self worth.  I can and I will help you.

In Memory of My Beloved Jeannie
Ch. Shogun’s Dark Phoenix

Bronson (Shogun’s Death Wish – Jeannie’s brother)

Caine, Tubby, Toots and Hilo

who all passed away this year


Ch. Sonshine’s Who’s Da Mack
(my beloved Kato’s father)

It is with love that I write this letter and it is with love that I share my purpose in life.

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