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What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers Paperback – April 14, 2009
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“Playful, passionate, and practical.”—Redbook
“A compelling argument for using techniques from animal trainers to help change bad habits and improve relationships.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Sutherland’s a smart, engaging writer, and her stories about the hows and whys of exotic animal training are fun and fascinating.”—Boston Sunday Globe
“Part self-help guide, part animal psychology textbook and part memoir . . . Sutherland has a breezy style.”—New York Times Book Review
“In the little, private zoo known as marriage, it helps to remind yourself that you and your partner are just two bipedal primates trying to get along in intimate co-habitation.”—Globe and Mail
“Wise and pragmatic advice . . . The thing I love most about this book is that every other paragraph, Sutherland’s terrific wordsmithing, compelling logic, and anecdotes about exotic animals make me feel like she’s tossed me a biscuit.”—Martha Beck, author of Steering by Starlight and columnist for O: The Oprah Magazine
“Hilarious and persuasive.”—Good Housekeeping
“Invaluable . . . It succeeds nicely as an animal-training guide, and amusingly as a relationship book.”—Buffalo News
About the Author
Amy Sutherland is the author of What Shamu Taught me About Life, Love, and Marriage; Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched and Cookoff. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Her feature piece “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage,” on which this book is based, was the most viewed and most e-mailed article of The New York Times online in 2006. Sutherland divides her time between Boston and Portland, Maine.
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What housewife wouldn’t love this book? Being able to train your husband to do what you prefer just makes sense! (Of course this read isn’t just for housewives it’s great for everybody). What Shamu taught me about life, love and marriage is an easy to read, fun & witty book. Amy brilliantly tells a story using examples of how she was effective in training her husband, due to her acquired skills and knowledge as an animal trainer at Sea World. Using a slew of positive reinforcements for her husband and friends, Amy kept in mind things Scott and those around her enjoy. The following quote from the book really resonates with me and provides a great example of her differential reinforcement of other behavior (or as we call it, ‘DRO’ in Psych class). “I thought of a list for Scott: smiles, hugs, kisses, compliments, head rubs, and presents (especially stereo and bike gear).” (pg 96). Using training methods learned from her trade such as positive reinforcement, negative punishment, rewarding liked behaviors and ignoring unwanted behaviors she paints great stories that we all can learn from and apply to our everyday lives with those we interact with the most.
I’m not quite a housewife yet but I’m definitely going to use these techniques learned from Amy to start training my boyfriend, so that someday he will propose to me. Bwahahaha! In all seriousness this was a great read, very informative on the psychology of our interactions with others while giving the reader useful and profound tips to make a change in their own world. I would recommend to absolutely everybody.