Cesar Millan: Jumping The U.S. Border Led To A Successful Career As Dog Trainer And TV Star (VIDEO)
Famed dog behavioralist Cesar Millan discusses his 'path to America' on AOL's "You've Got..." video series.
Although not everyone agrees with Millan's Dog Whisperer approach to training pets, one thing that does ring true is how his recognition of opportunity has consistently led to the next step in his rags to riches story.
Millan grew up with his grandfather and dad in Mexico, and recalls their amazing connection with animals and how his passion, love and understanding for animals can be traced back to those earliest years. But just as well, as he became a young adult, he made a difficult decision to change his life and come to the U.S.
"When I was old enough, I was 21 years of age, I decided to come to America. I did it illegally so I jumped the border. I didn't speak any English. After living two months on the streets under the freeways, I was homeless for a little while, then I got a job as a dog walker."
Millan realized that his passion could take him somewhere professionally.
"I went back to my roots, so I was walking dogs off leash. That's when I realized, okay, people in America are disconnected to the natural relationship with Mother Nature. That's when I decided, 'I'm not going to train dogs anymore, I'm going to train people, so I can rehabilitate their dogs.' And, so that's how my new profession was born."
He left such an impression on dog owners that people in "limousines from Beverly Hills" made their way to L.A.'s notorious South Central for Millan's dog training. One thing led to another, which led to his TV show, and Millan's American Dream became a reality.