For the past six seasons, Brandon McMillan has transformed out-of-control shelter dogs into perfect pets and found them homes on the Emmy-award-winning “Lucky Dog” TV series, shown during weekends on CBS. At Mr. McMillan’s California training facility — known as the Lucky Dog Ranch — he goes to work on the seemingly impossible task of turning frightened pooches into perfect pets. “From hopeless to a home” is his mission, which he brings to life in each episode as a lucky family adopts an even luckier dog.
Happily, one of these special furry friends has found her way from Los Angeles to a home in Southwest Florida, at the Naples Lakes Country Club. A segment about the pairing will be featured on “Lucky Dog” at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, on CBS.
Dr. Jim Hansen, a resident of Naples Lakes for 19 years, was distraught after the passing of his 17-year-old golden/ border collie, Sammy. Linda, his wife of 52 years, wrote to “Lucky Dog” requesting that they find him a new dog to love. After three years with no response, they had almost forgotten about their letter. Then, the “Lucky Dog” staff sent a note saying they were searching for a warm, friendly dog and invited them to Los Angeles after a decision had been made.
Explains Jim, “They started sending photos and dog descriptions of their rescue dogs; most were not the type of dog we wanted, so we initially declined. An entire season went by and we thought we had missed out. Then they called back with a photo of a dog that we knew was perfect. Yes, it was love at first sight with a small female border terrier that looks like Benji from the movie. But by the time we had connected, they had taken her back to the pound. When we called and frantically said no, that’s the one we want, they drove 20 miles back to the pound the day before she was to be put down and rescued the dog for the second time.”
The next step was to put Lizzie in training for about two months, getting her ready to move in with her new owners. She was spayed, given her shots and a chip embedded should she become lost. After the Hansens traveled to Los Angeles — at their expense — Mr. McMillan worked with them for two days, training them to work with Lizzie on various commands. Because Linda and Jim wear hearing aids, they also trained Lizzie to respond to the sounds of doorbells and ringing cellphones, making her a certified service dog and able to travel with them on the plane. In September, they brought the dog, estimated to be between 1 and 2 years old, to their new Florida home. For five hours, Lizzie sat right under the seat on the plane and never made a sound.
Added Jim, “Right after we returned home, there were massive fires near Malibu, where “Lucky Dog” is filmed. They had trouble getting people out so it’s entirely possible our Lizzie might not have survived. Her given name is Elizabeth but after almost NOT making it twice — and maybe three times — we named her Lucky Lizzie.”
Once a year, the “Lucky Dog” team selects one family to visit the home where a dog has been placed. In March, they brought an entire camera crew to Naples Lakes and filmed the pooch showing how she swimmingly fit in to her new life. Adds Linda, “Knowing that we are boaters, when we were in L.A., they took us out in a boat with Lizzie to be sure she was OK in the water. When the TV show crew came for a visit, they brought us a box full of toys, dog food, collars, medicine and even a doggie life jacket for our now 24-pound grown pooch.” ¦
Is Lucky Dog still in production?
Last episode of Lucky Dog on CBS aired on February 13, 2021. For even more Lucky Dog cancellation and renewal news, check out here. You can see all upcoming shows on our Upcoming TV Shows (2020-21) page.
Brandon McMillan signed a 1 year / $625,000 contract with the Arizona Coyotes, including an annual average salary of $625,000.
Is Brandon McMillan still training dogs?
Today, Brandon continues to train shelter dogs and place them with families. He was the host of the show Lucky Dog for 7 seasons until he left to pursue other opportunities. He’s also the author of the book Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days.
What happened to Brandon McMillan on Lucky Dog?
Brandon decided to part ways with CBS after he felt the show was not going in the same direction as he had hoped. In October, he took to Instagram to announce his exit from the show. “As the years went on big money started pouring into the show which meant more cooks in the kitchen making decisions.
Where is the new Lucky Dog Ranch?
How much does it cost to have Brandon McMillan train your dog?
Where does Lucky Dog take place?