Is a dog just a dog? When John Steinbeck made his eloquent tour of America in “Travels With Charley” he did not put a cat in the seat next to him. And with good reason, it was not the Thurber Cat celebrated in the introduction to “The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs.” As essayist Adam Gopnick put it:
“For Thurber, the dog chimed with, represented, the American man in his natural state — a state that, as Thurber saw it, was largely scared out of him by the American woman. When Thurber was writing about dogs, he was writing about men. The virtues that seemed inherent in dogs — peacefulness, courage, and stoical indifference to circumstance — were ones that he felt had been lost by their owners. The American man had the permanent jumps, and the American dog did not. The dog was man set free from family obligations, Monastic Man.”
Not sure we're there anymore, but that enduring connection to man’s best friend remains, even when it is woman’s best friend.
Cesar Millan knew this, and leveraged that relationship into a remarkable nine seasons of “The Dog Whisperer” show on Nat Geo Wild and three New York Times best sellers, led by “Cesar's Way.” When “The Dog Whisperer” left the air several months ago, it was quickly replaced by Millan's “Leader of the Pack,” also on Nat Geo Saturdays at 10 p.m.
So it is not surprising that Millan is hitting the road Steinbeck-style for a tour with his dog Junior that will stop at the Fillmore Miami Beach (1700 Washington Ave.) on June 14. Millan’s talk will include live demonstrations with a variety of breeds and an audience Q&A session.
Tickets are $56, $42 and $35, and go on sale 10 a.m. Friday at LiveNation.com, charge-by-phone (800-745-3000) and the box office (11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday). Also available will be limited VIP meet-and-greet tickets for $100. Info: FillmoreMB.com, 305-673-7300.