Duo vying to be part of Cesar Millan’s pack in Penticton

Summerland woman and her dog hoping to get their chance with Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan when he comes to Penticton at the SOEC.

Lisa Valancius of Summerland spends a moment with her Australian shepherd Daisy-Mae at Okanagan Lake Park Thursday. The pair have been selected as finalists to take part in the Cesar Milan Live tour date Nov. 8 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Lisa Valancius of Summerland spends a moment with her Australian shepherd Daisy-Mae at Okanagan Lake Park Thursday. The pair have been selected as finalists to take part in the Cesar Milan Live tour date Nov. 8 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

A tired Daisy-Mae is a good Daisy-Mae.

Unfortunately for the Australian Shepherd’s owner, Lisa Valancius, her dog isn’t always tired and that can cause some issues.

“My daughter quite often says to me, ‘I wish we had a normal dog,’” says Valancius.

That is why Valancius was extremely elated when she got the call that she and Daisy-Mae made the short-list to potentially be on stage with Cesar Millan when he comes to the South Okanagan Events Centre on Nov. 8 for his Trust Your Instincts tour.

The duo will meet with people from the show next Thursday where they will make their final decision on all the candidates. Valancius submitted an application listing the troubles Daisy Mae has which include being an alpha female, believing she is the pack leader, being afraid of slippery floors and being ball-obsessed. The last is the most obvious. Daisy-Mae is completely hypnotized by the ball in her owners hands, tracking every motion Valancius makes while unknowingly gesturing as she speaks. A group of women Valancius walks with have also gently suggested the duo submit an application.

“Everyone loves her and she is great with people, my other dog, my kids, even my cats rub on her. Then I take her for a walk and as soon as she is around other females she gets posturing and I guess almost intimidating the other dogs. It makes it kind of hard to enjoy a walk with friends,” says Valancius.

Daisy-Mae came to the Summerland resident’s family by chance. Valancius said she noticed the dog was in a household where she was being neglected and always was concerned about her. Finally, she approached Daisy-Mae’s then-owners and asked if she could help and the dog was handed over. Valancius has volunteered for Critteraid, a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to providing refuge for unwanted, abused and abandoned animals. Saving Daisy-Mae was just the natural thing to do.

“Critteraid is just amazing with everything they do. It’s not just the cute and furry animals; they take care of the ones no one wants,” says Valancius. “Now, here I am this rescue person and go to all these events with Critteraid and there is my dog trying to dominate your dog. I really want to bring Daisy-Mae out all the time, but I can’t because of the issues she has.”

Being an animal advocate is also why the Summerland woman found herself drawn to Millan, whom she first saw on Oprah providing balance to her pack that she insisted no one could fix.

“Being involved with rescue I like seeing Cesar work with those last-chance dogs. I have been hooked to his show ever since,” says Valancius.

The dog owner said she knows Daisy-Mae won’t be healed miraculously by Millan, but she hopes he can explain why her dog does the things she does.

“I want to know if it is something I am doing. I need some answers so I can feel better because I can’t get mad at Daisy-Mae. You can’t give her heck for something that is instinctual,” says Valancius.

Noted for his hit TV series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan on the National Geographic Channel, the dog trainer is known for his  uncanny instinct and ability with canines.

Millan teaches how an owner’s energy combined with their dog’s instincts is the key in resolving aggression.

“A dog’s world is one of instincts — this world is very different from the human world, which is fast-paced, full of stress and ultimately creates unbalance in dogs. The instinctual world is one of energy, harmony and calmness,” says Millan in a press release about the upcoming seminar.

“My new seminar tour will give dog owners the tools to recognize how to create an environment of balance and calmness for their dogs. This will prevent and resolve every day problems.  I hope that through understanding the world dogs live in, people will transform their dogs and maybe a bit of themselves at the same time.”

While Valancius and her family are excited their pet might get a shot with Millan, Daisy-Mae isn’t quite the fan.

“It’s tough with the high-definition now, it makes her go crazy when the dogs are barking on television,” laughs Valancius. “It’s hard to watch him on the good channels.”