What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage

What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage

Lessons for People From Animals and Their Trainers

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
While observing exotic animal trainers for her acclaimed book Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched, journalist Amy Sutherland had an epiphany: What if she used these training techniques with the human animals in her own life–namely her dear husband, Scott? In this lively and perceptive book, Sutherland tells how she took the trainers’ lessons home.

The next time her forgetful husband stomped through the house in search of his mislaid car keys, she asked herself, “What would a dolphin trainer do?” The answer was: nothing. Trainers reward the behavior they want and, just as important, ignore the behavior they don’t. Rather than appease her mate’s rising temper by joining in the search, or fuel his temper by nagging him to keep better track of his things in the first place, Sutherland kept her mouth shut and her eyes on the dishes she was washing. In short order, Scott found his keys and regained his cool. “I felt like I should throw him a mackerel,” she writes. In time, as she put more training principles into action, she noticed that she became more optimistic and less judgmental, and their twelve-year marriage was better than ever.

What started as a goofy experiment had such good results that Sutherland began using the training techniques with all the people in her life, including her mother, her friends, her students, even the clerk at the post office. In the end, the biggest lesson she learned is that the only animal you can truly change is yourself.

Full of fun facts, fascinating insights, hilarious anecdotes, and practical tips, What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage describes Sutherland’s Alice-in-Wonderland experience of stumbling into a world where cheetahs walk nicely on leashes and elephants paint with watercolors, and of leaving a new, improved Homo sapiens.

Baker & Taylor
An expanded version of an article that originally appeared in the "Modern Love" column of The New York Times draws on examples from the animal world and the principles of exotic animal training to provide keen insights into the complexities of human relationships, as well as suggestions on ways to deal with common relationship challenges. 50,000 first printing.

Baker
& Taylor

Draws on examples from the animal world and the principles of exotic animal training to provide insights into the complexities of human relationships, as well as suggestions on ways to deal with common relationship challenges.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400066582
1400066581
Branch Call Number: 158.2 Su841w 2008
Characteristics: xv, 168 p. ; 22 cm

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JudithE
Feb 06, 2010

Really excellent. Sort of "how to clicker train your spouse". It actually contains useful information to make relationships better. And it's very funny in spots, which I always appreciate.

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