Today is not about me, it’s about Eldad Hagar. I don’t know much about him, other than he is some sort of magical dog whisperer who saves the lives of stray dogs around LA.
One of his many videos popped up in my ‘Recommended’ column on YouTube, and three hours later I was still on his channel. The format for every video is as follows:
He has been told about a stray dog somewhere in LA
He goes to said location armed with cheeseburgers and his magic flowery lead
He finds the dog, who generally looks at Eldad like he’s some sort of snack
Five minutes later, Eldad is cuddling and playing with his new best friend
I don’t get it, but I can’t stop watching it.
There have been times when the dog has been less aggressive and more terrified when Eldad turns up, and those are the times when you realise quite how amazing this man is. He doesn’t like to use force, he simply speaks calmly and uses his body language to let the dog know that he is not going to leave. Then within a few minutes it’s like they were always friends.
The most beautiful and tragic element of his videos is the readiness with which the dogs will trust a person whom they’ve just met. It demonstrates their ability to forgive and forget, but shows us what could happen if the person in whom an animal places his trust is not the kind to be armed with cheeseburgers and an innate sense of kindness. The after effects of abuse are clear to see in each video, where most of the dogs have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. One of the more heartbreaking examples is an Alsatian called Ben, whose owners moved away and left him behind, yet still he waits by the back gate to be let in. Thanks to Eldad and his team, he’s now with a family who deserve him.
It’s probably for the best that I don’t live in LA, as after watching these videos I would by now be referred to as the ‘crazy dog lady’