Snow Day, Sunny Crochet and Exotic Animal Training

Snow Day!
With another March snowstorm bringing us 18 inches (45 cm!) of snow I was in dire need of something sunny and yellow. At least the forsythia cuttings in my living room were blooming as the storm raged outside.

Luckily, one can always make something sunny and cheerful. And that’s all I did on yesterday’s gray and snowy Sunday afternoon. A bit of crochet, watching the snow fall and a good read in front of the stove.
Crochet Bag

Crochet Bag

Last week I remembered the most emailed article of the NY Times in 2006: “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage“. Amy Sutherland, author and journalist wrote this highly amusing piece about what she learned from animal training and how she applied it to her husband Scott, whose behavior needed a little tweaking.

The central lesson I learned from exotic animal trainers is that I should reward behavior I like and ignore behavior I don’t. After all, you don’t get a sea lion to balance a ball on the end of its nose by nagging. The same goes for the American husband. ” The article was so successful, she was offered a book deal. I guess there are more husbands in the world who need improvement.

I don’t have a husband who needs much training. But, thinking about it……. Anyway, behavior modification is fascinating to me. The book was in my local library and seems essentially a longer version of the article. If you have a Volkswagen Beetle, but secretly long for a Mercedes Benz, you can read the article here.
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11 Responses to “Snow Day, Sunny Crochet and Exotic Animal Training”

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  1. Melissa Lynn D says:

    Very amusing article! :) I've always worked with horses which seem to respond well with negative reinforcement to wrong behaviors, so I've never even thought of just ignoring them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We woke to find water in the basement and, alas, more snow falling. Your sunny post made me a smile and brought much-appreciated cheer. Thank you! karen m.

  3. A Little Happier says:

    Still so much snow at your place?
    I have to assume my husband needs some training :) and I assume I need some improvements in ignoring behaviors I don't like :)

  4. Milica says:

    LOL! There is a really cute old movie, (60's I think) If a Man Answers, that plays on this same idea but the woman uses a dog training book. I saw it years ago and didn't think about it until I read your post.
    Lovely little clutch by the way!

  5. Charissa says:

    I love what you made, Kathrin!! What is the lining material from? Knowing you, it's probably not brand new from Joann's…

  6. heleen says:

    Thank you for that article! I guess it was mainly e-mailed by women, haha! I also have an adorable exotic animal here at home and can use some advice in training him :-).

    I love the wallet you made!!

  7. Mon Café Couture says:

    Hi, that's so funny, beautiful pictures and colors.

  8. annekata says:

    Thanks ladies!

    @Charissa: You're right, it's not Joann's. The lining was made from some vintage fabric I bought at our "Sew Green" store. The label says "Schwartz Liebman textiles" and it seems from the 60's or 70's. It's really bold and I need to find some good use for it as I have 2 or 3 yards of it….

  9. Charissa says:

    I knew there was a story behind it. Love it!

  10. Brooke says:

    Wow, those yarn pictures are gorgeous.

    That's funny about the Shamu training. :)

  11. suschna says:

    Den Stoff finde ich auch ganz wunderbar, perfekt für ein Retro-Sommerkleid. Aber in der Kombination mit der Häkeltasche ist er auch ganz wunderbar. Und so viel schöne Wolle! Häkeln finde ich so toll, man kann alles machen damit!

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