February 2014 I traveled to California to partake in a 5 day course with Cesar as the instructor. I loaded up myself and a puppy and boarded a plane to a place I had not been to since I was in my 20’s. Traveling with a puppy was new to me. She did very well to my surprise. Cali is very dog friendly so arriving at the LAX I was allowed to let Patsy out of the dog carrier and on to her leash. I had trouble getting a rental car due to my ex not paying a $500 deductible to Hertz when he wrecked my Jeep, even though he told me he did. So I had to find a driver to drive me to Valencea. Getting on the 405 was shocking. I grew up near Chicago and drove many times into the city. This, however, was nothing like that. It was 6 lanes of bumper to bumper cars and a 3 hour minimum drive that MapQuest said was 30 miles. Panic set in because I was supposed to be there for the pre-intake party. I was going to miss it. I called, they said it was fine but it was not, not to me.

I did show up, I did get my bag with all my materials and a 3 ring binder. Plus the famous Cesar leash. Which I still use and love. All 22 of us headed to our rooms and got ready for a meet and greet down stairs in the hotel (hotel that didn’t allow dogs but for Cesar they made an exception). Drinks and food and getting to know everyone. I had a blast. Getting to spend time with like people is rare for me. All these people loved dogs like I did. It was refreshing.

Next morning I had to hitch a ride with someone and head off to the “Ranch” Cesar’s ranch.

First day there. The sun was shinning and it was warm, well warm to me. I left Valpo in a winter snow storm. One that would become famous. We had almost 3 feet of snow and the temp was -23 windchill. So their 52 Degrees felt like heaven.

We parked and walked to where they had a tent set up. You see Cesar was still in the process of completing his plans to turn his ranch into a retreat for dogs and owners to come learn TCW (more on that later). They set up food for breakfast if you didn’t get to eat at the hotel. @ 8 foot tables of snacks and drinks. Can you imagine what lunch was going to be like?

First thing we did was find a seat and set everything down, then we took our dogs (if you didn’t being one Cesar provided one for you) over to meet with everyone and find our instructor. We were divided into groups and one of Cesars trainers lead us on our walk. But wait, the best part was Cesar came with us and everyone got to take a turn walking with Cesar and a pack of dogs while he gave us suggestions on how we could do better. Mine didn’t come for a couple of days, but I still got to walk with him.

We walked the whole ranch and got to see what he had already done plus learn what he was planning on doing. We got to hear his life story, which I never knew because honestly I only saw half of one of his TV shows. Cesar is very down to earth, he is a good listener and has great advice. I learned that a lot of what I was doing, was what he was doing as far as correcting the dogs. It reinforced my already instinctual knowledge.

From an early age I loved animals. Mostly dogs because that is the first pet I met when I was young. We had a dog and it bit me in the face. But it never turned me away, in fact I peaked my curiosity and thus began my self thought knowledge of pets. I learned how to read their eyes, ears and body language. Not to mention the fact that I was able to pick up the way they were feeling. My 8th sense was I was in-tune with animals. They would come to me because I knew what they wanted.

Next we had classroom time with Cesar teaching us his way of training dogs. We didn’t get an intense training that would earn us a license to train. But we did get a certificate of completion. It was sooooooooooooo much fun. I loved every minute of it and would go back in heart beat if I could afford it again. It was a 10K experience.

I highly recommend it if you can afford it. Want to hear more about it? Contact me we can sit down for coffee and I can tell you everything.

Peace, love and paws