earlier this year i started a list of goals that i want to accomplish at some point during my career. one of those wishes was to one day meet and photograph Cesar Millan, ‘The Dog Whisperer’. i had no idea that my wish would come true so soon!
Cesar has been on tour in Canada with his live show. along with his tour, he is also promoting his new book ‘Cesar’s Rules’. on Sunday October 31, 2010 he appeared at the Pet Valu in Cabbagetown, Toronto for a book signing. i jumped when i got the call from Dogs In Canada to cover the event with the lovely and talented writer Alison Preiss.
to read Alison’s amazing interview with Cesar (and to see more of my photos), please click here.
(SIDE NOTE: i was devastated and embarrassed that Cesar was unable to bring his dog Junior on tour with him to Ontario, because of our pit bull ban. just last week, i attended a protest in support of this issue).
it was a chilly fall day…and Cesar fans (human and furry, appropriately costumed) were brave enough to line up for hours around the block to get the chance to meet him.
when he arrived the crowd was cheering as he recorded his welcome with his video camera. inside the store it was warm and toasty. after the media held their press conference with Cesar, it was time for the fans to have their book signed and have their photo taken with their dog.
during our time inside the store, it began to snow outside. when i brought it to the attention of everyone in a very loud, “hey everyone, it’s snowing!”, Cesar looked at me with wide eyes and said, “i’ve never seen snow before!”. being from Mexico and living in California, i can see how that is possible. welcome to Canada! (FYI: it was the first and only snowfall so far this season in Toronto).
i’m pretty sure it was kismet that there was a Mexican restaurant directly across the street. i told him that i want a photo of him in front of it in the snow. he seemed amused by my idea.
it was absolutely amazing to see how calm and well-behaved all the dogs were in his presence. he was like a kid, allowing himself to be pawed, sniffed and slobbered on by his furry fans (and a few human ones too…kidding!). Cesar was so gracious and charming and took time for everyone…bonding in spanish with a young fan, signing t-shirts, a cast, holding a dog purse, even talking on the phone to a friend of a present fan. he also signed a book with a special message for my mom “to Cathy, The Leeder of the Pack.” (yes, my idea, totally cheesy, but i knew my mom would go nuts over it).
at the end of the signing, as his people were whisking him away, he thanked everyone and asked if there was anything else. so, i jumped in and told him that i still wanted that photo in front of the restaurant. he said, “you got it!” and quickly ripped off his winter vest and cosy sweater. stripped down to only his Lulu Lemon tighty-whitey t-shirt, we ran across Carlton Street. i had the pay duty cops stop traffic so i could get the shot. as soon as i got it, he thanked me and ran back across the street and into his car of people and they drove of. this all happened within 60 seconds and i was super impressed of how good of a sport he was. thanks Cesar!
(FUN SIDE NOTE: i recognized one of the pay duty officers, who ticketed me for my one and only traffic violation. i misread a sign that was a no left turn before 6:30pm. the font was small and i just saw the 6pm. it was 6:05pm. boy, was i mad that day. we have since made peace.)
i will be having a giveaway on the Marcia Leeder Photography Facebook Group for a copy of ‘Cesar’s Rules’ when we reach 800 fans, so join the group and tell all of your dog-loving friends. anyone who comments on the blog below will receive an extra vote!
GALLERY IS NOW READY FOR ORDERING PRINTS AND WEB FILES, SO CLICK HERE!
(100% of proceeds will go towards a very special dog charity project i am working on)
Cesar recorded the cheering crowd as he arrived.
many fans patiently waited outside for hours before it was their turn to come inside to meet Cesar.
the NO BSL members represented.
Cesar even signed a book for my mom! (thank you Alison Preiss for the photo)
when he took me up on my offer to photograph him in front of the Mexican restaurant across the street in the freezing cold (wearing only a t-shirt) he made my day! Cesar you are such a great sport! Gracious! Por favor, visite de nuevo pronto!
FOR MORE PHOTOS from the event check out the slideshow below. make sure to comment below (especially if you see your dog) to be entered to win Cesar’s new book!