What I Learned From The Dog Whisperer

The most amazing things can and do happen...even early on a Monday morning in a coffee shop in Newark, NJ.

A chance meeting with someone whom I consider a mentor, Cesar Millan (aka "The Dog Whisperer"), started this week off on a high note for me...and I wanted to share the good vibes and lessons with you, too!


I don't know if you have ever seen his show, or if you even own a dog (I know many of you do, since I have been thrilled to meet  them in your homes!), but to explain Cesar "rehabilitates dogs and trains people," and I have to say I have learned a lot about you and your house from him.


I am sure you are thinking I am nuts...but just hear me out. Here are a few truths about dogs, humans, and houses:

  • Routines Are The Foundation: As a creative person, I used to rail against routines, but now realize that they are an important tool that enables me to be the most creative I can be. A dog needs a daily walk to understand his or her place in the pack, and we need daily habits to make sure that our homes support us & how we want to live, rather than dominate our time & make us nuts. Get these basic requirements out of the way each day, and enjoy the benefits in your relationship with your dog AND your house.
  • Visualize The Result You Want: with an aggressive dog, Cesar will often encourage the owner to hold a picture in their mind of their dog calm, submissive and controllable. The biggest stumbling block for us can be negative images from the past which can be impediments to achieving our desired outcome. This is also true with our homes. Do not focus on your past frustrations (this can actually make you recreate what you DON'T want), but rather hold an image of the peaceful place you want to create, and move towards it with purpose and faith.
  • Face Your Worst Fears Head-On: Does the dog that lives around the corner make your dog lose its mind when it walks by? That is the exact house where you need to start so that you can change this situation around. Does the guest room make your skin crawl as you walk past it each day? That is the exact room you need to tackle first to change and improve your life in your house. Start with the hardest thing first, and recognize how powerful you are to affect change.
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY- Seek Balance NOT Happiness: We all have made the mistake of thinking an overly excited dog is "happy" to see us, when in reality he is just unsure of his limits and is wacked out from a lack of leadership. In our own lives, we can be seduced & made giddy by fancy new decor, tricked out with all the bells and whistles --thinking this is what we need to make our houses complete. A balanced, peaceful house gives us a deep level of lasting satisfaction, so start by eliminating clutter & embracing simplicity, and you will find that true happiness is the byproduct that will follow.

From The Dog Whisperer to The House Whisperer (as I was once so flattered to be called!), I hope you are able to tap into your instincts & follow these simple steps to create a home that helps you put your best foot forward in the world.