The Doc Whisperer

I could certainly use dog trainer Cesar Millan. Our two-year old labradoodle Jessie is a bit of a mess. She often begs for food, and thinks nothing of resting on The Forbidden Couch. But compared to the dogs featured on Milan’s show, The Dog Whisperer, she’s Lassie.

The Dog Whisperer is a unique reality-TV program. In each episode, we’re introduced to a new insane animal and its even more insane owners. Dogs with a wide variety of behavioral and disciplinary problems are featured. Before this show, I would never have believed a dog could have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).

Millan interviews the owners, then instructs them on how to deal with the dog’s behaviour, using a combination of leadership, discipline and affection. The worst dogs are taken to Millan’s Dog Psychology Center, where presumably the animal shares with a therapist its childhood problems and the fact it just “can’t let go” of the doggie treats.

What’s most impressive about Millan is how efficiently and professionally he interviews the owners, quickly assesses the situation, and in some cases, is able to immediately correct the problem. Dogs are often transformed right before the owner’s eyes.

Dogs vs. Docs

A dog whisperer, therefore, is a trained professional who assesses the animal, interviews the owners, and provides a solution. The definition of a “doc whisperer” is self-evident, but a comparative list is helpful:

  • dog whisperers assess dogs
  • doc whisperers assess docs
  • dog whisperers interview owners
  • doc whisperers interview owners, including subject matter experts
  • dog whisperers see what the problem is right away and recommend a solution
  • doc whisperers do the same thing
  • dog whisperers show leadership by implementing the solution
  • doc whisperers – ditto
  • dog whisperers follow up with the dog and its owners to ensure the solutions are maintained
  • doc whisperers follow up with the doc and its owners to ensure the solutions are maintained

Doc whisperers are more commonly known as “senior technical writers”, but what’s in a name anyway? So if you want to be a great tech writer start whispering….

After all, dogs and docs are very similar: they both need lots of attention, they both can get out of control if not maintained, and they both involve toys, as in:

“Here Rover – it’s the latest edition of FrameMaker, with tabbed browsing and better conditional text management.”

“Arff!”

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