When I say Cesar Millan, most of you will immediately recall his show, “The Dog Whisperer.” And while yes, at points in his life he has been the world’s most famous dog trainer and the CEO of CMI (estimated to become a $100 million business), it hasn’t always been like that.
At the beginning of 2010, Daddy, Milan’s pit bull and companion, who Millan called his “mentor,” died of cancer. Shortly after that, his wife of 16 years- Ilusion- filed for divorce. As if things weren’t bad enough, around that same time, Millan “discovered that some bad business deals left him with almost nothing, despite his TV successes.”1 And to cap it all off, Milan couldn’t shake the feeling that his sons blamed him for the divorce and thought their lives would be better without him.
With everything that was going on in his life, his dogs began to be distant from him, trusting him a little less.
Unable to find a happy place, he took a combination of pills including Xanax in the hopes of ending his own life. However, he woke up to find himself in the psych ward. Surprisingly, this gave him hope; he realized that since he had not died he must still have a purpose.
“’I better get back to work!’ Millan said to himself. He went right back to training dogs, including his new sidekick, Junior, a 3-month-old pit bull.
‘I couldn’t have done what I do without Daddy,’ he said, ‘and now I can’t do it without Junior. There’s always a pit bull there supporting me.’”2
Although his suicide attempt was his lowest point, he learned a lot about depression and suicide and learned how to cope with those things: hard work.
Millan got to work clearing brush, digging roads, and planting trees on his newly purchased 43-acre land that he planned to use training dogs. Next, he cut ties with his company because he believed they were driven purely by money, and he wanted to help people with their furry family members.
Cesar Millan was blessed to receive a second chance at life and he’s not taking it for granted; today he’s using his life to help people and their dogs and help others out of their depression.