Yes, it's true: Our dog loves "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan.
As frequent fliers to this blog know, Fellow Traveler and I have an embarrassing penchant for questionably educational/redemptive "reality" programs like Intervention and Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab. ("It may be trash TV," I remarked to FT the other evening, "but at least it's quality trash TV.")
We also enjoy The Dog Whisperer, in which Milllan -- who has an almost eerie ability to communicate with dogs on a visceral, unsentimental level -- rescues misunderstood, misbehaving dogs from their well-meaning but chowderheaded humans and retrains the humans to better relate to their dog on a canine level. What's amazing to us is how interested Gertie -- a dog who is generally indifferent to television -- is in this show.
During the opening scenes of each case study, showcasing a particular dog's dysfunctional behavior, Gertie will walk right up to the screen, stare at the dog, then look back at us with an expression that borders on the incredulous: "Mamas...that dog is really messed up!" She then hops on the sofa to watch Cesar work with the dog and the rest of the household, her attention riveted on his every word and action. The other evening, when we watched one episode and then switched to the Olympics, Gertie actually sighed -- I wasn't sure if it was in relief that another human family finally started understanding their dog or irritation that we were interrupting her must-see TV.
When you think of it, The Dog Whisperer is very much like an Intervention for dogs. So I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed that Gertie has, in her own way, taken a shine to one of our favorite guilty television pleasures.