Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Larry King Live

Training Your Dog With Love; Secrets of Leadership; One of Most Successful Women in America; Do Bats Sing? Do Mice Giggle?

Aired November 07, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, the inner lives of animals. Do your pets think? Do they understand or do they just react? Are they more like us than we know? Experts are here with some intriguing answers.

Plus, one of the most successful and powerful women in America tells us how to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of business. Learn how to take a bite out of the competition next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Tamar Geller is the renowned dog expert and celebrity dog trainer. Her clients include Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Courtney Cox-Arquette and me, yours truly. Yes. She's the author of the best-seller "The Love Dog," which was launched by Oprah Winfrey, and her new book is "30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog." We'll be joined by Biscuit King shortly.

Now, you were in the Israeli army, right?

TAMAR GELLER, DOG TRAINING EXPERT: Yes. I used to be an intelligence officer and I worked with the special forces.

KING: What took you to dog training?

GELLER: You know, it's all about strategic planning. It's all about thinking you have plan A, and if that doesn't work, with plan B and plan C. And when I was in the army, and I saw how they trained the dogs way back then, I didn't -- really didn't like it. And I had the opportunity to go down to the desert in Israel and study wolves.

And when I realized that everything that the wolves did was done through games, all right, not through being alpha or any of that stuff -- none of that -- I realized that's the way to do it. And when I tried those games, those specific games on my dogs, they were, like, Ah, finally, somebody who speak my language! So...

KING: What were they doing with wolves?

GELLER: I was just observing them. I was just observing their behavior.

KING: Oh, you just (INAUDIBLE)

GELLER: That's exactly right.

BROWN: What brought you to the United States? GELLER: I wasn't planning to come here. I just came for a visit. I went for two weeks for Southeast Asia on a little vacation, and then I stayed for a year. And my ticket ended here in Los Angeles, and when I landed, I saw there's going to be a Pink Floyd concert in a month. And I was like, Ah, I'm already on the road way longer than I planned. Let me stay and watch Pink Floyd.

And while I was waiting, I apprenticed, I volunteered with some dog trainers. And then one day, they got a call that a cocker spaniel was stealing socks from the owner. And they're like, Oh, we don't want to go there! You go there. And I went there and I see what's going on, the dynamic in the owner. And I'm telling the owner, The dog is looking for your attention. And the owner is telling me, But I'm home all day. And I'm saying, yes, but all you do is that (ph). The dog sees your back unless he steals your socks.

We changed it where when the dog stole socks, the owner ignored him and played a lot of games other times. A week later, the guy, my client, gets the Grammy, becoming huge success. His name is Kenny G, the saxophone player.

KING: Yes, know him well.

GELLER: Kenny referred me to Goldie Hawn, Nicolette Sheridan, Whoopi Goldberg, many, many clients. That was 22 years ago.

KING: That's how long you've been doing this?


KING: Now, you train them as puppies. Do you continue ever to train them afterwards? Do you do brush-up sessions?

GELLER: If all -- there's really no need if the owner is keeping it up because what it is, I'm turning it into a lifestyle where it's not, like, concentrated. It's kind of like the way you eat. You cannot eat healthy for a week and then binge and be healthy. It's the same with a dog. It's a relationship. You cannot love your spouse or your kids only, you know, 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. It becomes a part of your life.

KING: OK. What's -- the goal in training -- do you ever hit a dog?

GELLER: Every day.


GELLER: Never! Ever!

KING: Never hit a dog?

GELLER: Never, ever. Would you ever hit a child? Would you ever hit...

KING: How about that old thing they used to do, if a dog made doody in the house, you put the nose in it and then hit them?

GELLER: Absolutely not. And the reason why is you don't have a problem with the dog going -- doing his duty. You have the problem with the location. So by you putting -- sticking the nose in his mess, you're not conveying what your real issue is. And what happens, unfortunately, when you deal with punishment unwelcome circumstances is that the dog afraid to go to the bathroom now and they're going to eat the poop, trying to hide the evidence, or go in closets or whatever, or will never go in front of you when you take it for a walk. And it's, like, 20 minutes and the dog is, like, I'm not taking a chance. He's crazy last time I did it, you know? So it's kind of like you got to be very clear. And oftentimes, even with people relationships, we think we are conveying one message and we are not.

KING: What's the toughest part -- the toughest thing for a dog to learn?

GELLER: Toughest thing...

KING: Well, with you, nothing is tough.

GELLER: ... for a dog to learn? That's exactly...

KING: What you think is tough.

GELLER: There's nothing really tough for them to learn because I'm making it in a way where it's easy, where they're feeling like, We're going to learn, we're going to have fun, you know? It's really extremely difficult on a dog to be alone all day, you know? That's the top...

KING: Many are, right? The single (INAUDIBLE)

GELLER: Many are. That's the toughest thing because they're social animals. They need to be with others. So to leave them alone all day, that is something that is extremely stressful for a dog. And that's why we have to come up with ways where (SIC) alleviates their stress. Otherwise, the stress will come out, just like with people. You know, we have basic needs. Tony Robbins talks about the six basic human needs. I'm talking about the dog's seven basic needs, where if we don't get our needs met, we're going to have issues. If dogs don't get their needs met, they will have issues. And they're very basic. They're not anything that much out there.

KING: Like? Give me an example.

GELLER: One of the things for dogs and for people is to have certainty. This morning, I worked with a dog who from the breeder -- you know, it was really a puppy mill -- it was not socialized properly and it was quite abused by the toddler and by the husband. And he now live his life with total fear, completely afraid that something going to happen to him.

And we have to teach him that he can trust. He can trust that there's nothing wrong going to happen in his life, that when his owner, the man calls him, that he's never going to hit him because he is completely living with fear because certainty is not something that was part of his life.

Another thing, another basic need is kind of, like, why do you go to watch sports? Because it's fun. You know -- you have the certainty that it's going to be fun, but you also have the uncertainty where you don't know what the outcome of the game going to be. The same with a dog. You want to take them every day to do something uncertain with them, to explore, to have an adventure, to have some kind of excursion, not just the same boring walk around the block. And then you're, like, God, why is my dog digging now in my newfound garden? You know, because that's exciting. That's new.

KING: She's an amazing woman. Tamar Geller, her new one is "30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog." Honest, my dog, she needed less than that. It's called the "Love Dog Method."

We'll be right back.


KING: We're back with Tamar Geller. The new one is "30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog." She also wrote the ``New York Times" best- seller, which Oprah launched, which made her, called "The Loved Dog." She was an intelligence officer in the Israeli army.

How do you choose the right dog -- right breed?

GELLER: It doesn't work with the right breed. You have two sons. Same mother, same father, same upbringing. Do they have the same personality?

KING: Couldn't be more dis-alike.

GELLER: There you go. There you go. So how can you say, Jews, we're all the same. Blondes, we're all the same. You can't do that. What it is you really go at the individual dog and you see because, oftentimes, you get a mutt, when we're all mutts, thank God, you know?

KING: We are.

GELLER: And you want to get a mutt. And you don't really know what you're getting. And with a breed, there's certain things that the breed would have. Like, a husky will have different personality than a beagle. But I equate it to an ice cream. When you go to get an ice cream, there's a certain basic way that every ice cream is made, all right? Then the little flavor differences. So it's the same with a dog. Every dog, doesn't matter if it's a Chihuahua or a great Dane, has the same basic needs. Just like with people. Doesn't matter if we are Larry King or if we are in India in the slums somewhere. You know, we have basic needs.

So it's not about the right breed, necessarily. It's about your lifestyle. If you're going to get a dog that needs a lot of activities, a lot of exercise, do you have that lifestyle? And the worst thing people can do is to get a dog based on looks because -- Oh, I love Labradors. Yes, but you're weighing 700 pounds and you never leave your home! You should not have a working dog, you know, because your dog will be frustrated.

KING: How about dogs that get a bad rep, Pit-bulls Doberman pinschers?

GELLER: Well, I have a Dobie, and he is magnificent and he is a love bug. And he's Biscuit's very, very good friend and he is amazing. And Pit-Bulls also -- it's a lot. It's very -- there's a lot of stereotyping in Pit-Bulls, unfortunately. And there's a lot of bad breeding and bad, you know, upbringing in Pit-Bulls.

But one dog that gets a lot of bad rap are the homeless dogs, and it's completely unfounded. And the reason why -- a lot of people think, If I'll rescue a dog, I'm getting a defective dog. Somebody didn't want him. And the thing of it is somebody didn't want him doesn't mean it's a defective dog. I mean, does everyone who get a divorce mean is defective, anyone who ever broke -- you know, somebody being -- I've been dumped. Does that mean I am defective?

But you know what I mean? It's kind of, like, you got to give chance to the dogs to show them who they are. We all have to be like Phil Jackson, where when you put Kobe Bryant with an average coach, he's not going to be Kobe Bryant. They pay Phil Jackson the money that they pay him because he's a phenomenal coach, phenomenal ability to take whatever person they bring in front of him and to bring the best out of him. John Wooden was another phenomenal example.

KING: Do you ever yell at your dog?

GELLER: I do believe in what I call "level eight," where I'm raising my voice because I would never raise my hand. So I will be, like -- when they're, like -- when I'm training them not to run -- we did it with Biscuit not to run outside your home, not to go out the front door. And I'll go, Wait! Wait! You know? And I'm using a tone of voice which he never hears, and that's why it's effective. If I yell at the dog or use "level eight" all the time, I will desensitize him because I'm always, Oh, Biscuit, and Wow, that's great. You know? When I do use, Biscuit, wait! He's like, Oh! Wow! I better listen because I'm not used to her getting upset with me. Then it's become powerful.

KING: Ever have a dog you couldn't train?

GELLER: In the 22 years that I worked with dogs, there was one dog that I could not get anything done with. And the reason why, I had no leverage. He didn't care for food. he didn't care for treats. Didn't care for games. He didn't care for toys. He didn't care for love. He didn't care for walks. He didn't care for other dogs. He didn't care for anything. It was, like...


GELLER: He was like a cat, you know? So I was, like, You know what? You're fine as you are.

KING: Cats are different, right, completely. GELLER: Completely because they're not social animals. Dogs are very much like us, and research shows that the animal that's the closest to a toddler is not chimpanzee, like we used to think, it's actually a dog, from an emotional point of view and from a developmental point of view.

KING: Are some breeds brighter than others?

GELLER: Of course. Of course. We have border collies who are, like, out of the charts and...

KING: Smart?

GELLER: Beyond brilliant, border collies. And very few people are worthy of having a border collie. And it's kind of, like, Oh, I love the look of a border collie. Well, do you have sheep in your back yard? You know, can your dog herd, you know...

KING: That's what they do.

GELLER: That's exactly -- otherwise, he will herd your children. He will herd you because you can't take a Ferrari and ask it to drive like a smart car. I mean, there are certain things that are factory built in, and we have to respect them.

KING: How do you -- there are people who love ugly dogs.


KING: We know there are dogs that are ugly, right?

GELLER: Yes. Yes.

KING: That dog with all the (INAUDIBLE)

GELLER: Yes, with the tongue hanging, and like, no hair. Well, the thing of it is, I mean, dogs, sometimes they're so ugly that they're cute, you know? They're like...

KING: Are female dogs harder to train than male or vice versa?

GELLER: No difference. Absolutely no difference. Absolutely none.

KING: None at all?

GELLER: I mean, it's kind of like women and men.

KING: But in humans, there's a difference.

GELLER: I'm sorry?

KING: With humans, there's a difference.

GELLER: What's the difference with human?

KING: Male and female?

GELLER: Well, there is a difference...

KING: Venus and mars.

GELLER: But not necessarily training them. You see women and men can do the same job. It just (INAUDIBLE) aptitude. When you look at each one, you say, What's your aptitude?

KING: She's amazing. She's Tamar Geller. The new book "30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog." There's isn't a better -- are you in the phone book? I mean, how do people -- are you hard to get?

GELLER: No. I'm on -- you Google me,

KING: We'll meet Biscuit after this.


KING: We're back with Tamar Geller. And here is our dog. Actually, it's Cannon's dog. Cannon's now 10. He got Biscuit for Christmas 2008 when Christmas was -- Biscuit was about a month old. Was Biscuit hard to train?

GELLER: He was phenomenal. And the one who was really phenomenal was Cannon because Cannon really wanted a dog, as you know, for so long. And -- oh, Biscuit! You want to stay here on the rug because he's going to scratch the table. But Cannon really wanted a dog. And finally, when he got a dog, he committed that he will do it. And Cannon was so enthusiastic. Cannon was -- oh, you want a treat?

KING: And he loves the dog.

GELLER: And he really did. We played all the games with Biscuit, and he became, like, Biscuit's coach. It became like a sport. And Cannon couldn't wait to keep practicing with Biscuit, and so much fun to see a 9-year-old being so responsible and so enthused and so consistent. I'm in love with Cannon, you know? I wish he was a little bit older.


KING: What is special about the King Cavalier breed?

GELLER: Well, generally speaking, they're very, very kind. However, every breed, when it becomes very popular, people start overbreeding them, and then you see some issues.

KING: Oh, really?

GELLER: With them, you see -- unfortunately, became very popular, and you see deafness with them. You see a -- deafness. You also see aggression, you know, which...

KING: I haven't noticed that with him.

GELLER: No. He is the sweetest dog on earth. He is the sweetest. Sit, Biscuit!

KING: Should you always breed to the same breed?

GELLER: Well, when they're breeding, when they want to keep the breed, yes. They -- you know, and...

KING: Do you care about that?

GELLER: About breeding?

KING: Yes.

GELLER: No. You know what? When we are putting to sleep about four million dogs every year, I first wish that people would stop breeding. Let's take care of the overpopulation, and then we'll breed. And if you do breed, I wish only really real breeders, people who really care and take the time, where they're not breeding just for looks but they breed for health and they breed for personality because otherwise, the owners who get the dog, it breaks the heart when the dog is sick.

KING: Do we know why Biscuit does not bark?

GELLER: Well, he does bark.

KING: Yes, when he sees other dogs.

GELLER: That's exactly right.

KING: But that's it.

GELLER: Because he's content. He is very happy. He's content. He has a great life. He gets all of his seven needs being met by your lovely wife, Shawn, and by Cannon and you and everybody.

KING: Chance. Well, Chance is...

GELLER: Chance is less involved.

KING: Tolerates him.

GELLER: Yes. But Cannon and Shawn are obviously madly in love with him.

KING: Oh, yes.

GELLER: You know? So...

KING: Why do dogs wag their tail?

GELLER: It's just the way we smile. Just the way we smile. And you see when he's really happy, wags his tail in circles like a helicopter. He's really cute. You really can tell by the -- baby, you're on TV! Thank you!

KING: Oh, he knows it. GELLER: You have to have your manners. You have to have your manners. You can't scratch when you're on TV. But he is absolutely a joy to have around. And I'm, like...

KING: He was very easy to train, right? It looked like you started one day, and the next day, he was housebroken. He was obeying.

GELLER: Yes. But I have to say it's with every dog. It's with every dog. When you use the love dog method, it's so easy. And the reason why is because your dog become your willing partner. We do not make the dog submissive. We do not become the leader of the pack. We become coach, and the dog becomes our play partner. We because a team. So when you do that way...

KING: You don't like the word "discipline," right?

GELLER: I really don't like the word "discipline." I mean, Phil Jackson doesn't discipline Kobe Bryant. You know, it's kind of, like, it's about coaching. They come to us with their instincts, and we have to teach them how to make conscious choice, kind of like the way we teach toddlers, you know? When they're young, they want something, they grab it. You tell them no, they cry. We have to teach them, No, no, no, you say please, and then we give it to them.

We coach our young. We don't discipline them, we coach them. And it's the same with dogs because it's not like they know and they're doing it anyhow, despite the fact that they know just to upset you. They don't know. So it's up to us to coach them and be kind to them.

KING: Do they talk to each other, dogs?

GELLER: Absolutely, they talk to each other.

KING: They do.

GELLER: But they talk to each other with body language and with games. Oh, it's very fun to see Biscuit, the way he plays, because he talks one way to one dog and another way to another dog. And all dogs are just like us.

KING: Tamar, you're doll.

GELLER: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Israel's loss was our gain. And this is Biscuit. Thanks for being with us, Biscuit -- his initial television appearance. Look at that face!

GELLER: Oh, look at that face!

KING: "30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog" -- that's her new book, "The New York Times" best-selling author Tamar Geller.

Next, one of the world's most powerful women with some advice for all of us.


KING: It's an honor to welcome Marilyn Carlson Nelson to LARRY KING LIVE. She's an extraordinary woman, chairman, former CEO of the Carlson Companies. She received global recognition for the Carlson brand of hotels and restaurants, travel and marketing services, named one of the America's best leaders by "U.S. News & World Report." And her new book is "How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership."

You're the first CEO, first female CEO of a major company?

MARILYN CARLSON NELSON, CHAIRMAN & FMR. CEO CARLSON COMPANIES: Oh, I think there might have been a couple before me, maybe Jill Barad (ph) at -- at...

KING: The toy company.

NELSON: ... the toy company, et cetera. But one of the early ones. I hate to admit it but it's true. It was very exciting.

KING: What do the Carlson Companies -- what do they do?

NELSON: Carlson is a travel and hospitality company. We have a thousand hotels.


NELSON: Radisson, Country Inns and Suites, Park Plaza, Park Inns. We have TGI Fridays all over the world, 160 countries of hotels and restaurants.

KING: I thought we were going to help you make it.


NELSON: Oh, well, you are! You are.

KING: So what are you, retired or you're...

NELSON: I'm the chairman.

KING: You remain chairman?

NELSON: Right.

KING: Now, tell me about the book, "How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership." (INAUDIBLE) and the foreword is by our own David Gergen. What prompted you to write it?

NELSON: Well, I didn't expect to write a book. One day, my grandson, Jamie (ph), who was 12 at the time, said -- they call me Mame -- said, Mame, were you alive during segregation? And at first I wondered if he thought the Civil War, and then I realized he was probably studying Civil Rights and the '60s. And that was when I came out of school.

And I also started thinking there's a real chance that my grandchildren won't ever really know what I fought for, what I stood for. You know, they'll see me as the person who was on the sidelines for soccer games and hockey games, et cetera. So I started writing little stories. And I put a piece of poetry with them because I love poetry and I thought sometimes it makes the point.

And they were very accessible stories, everything from meeting -- from serving brats and beer to the KGB to going to China and working with Madam Chan, one of the wealthiest women in China and how we became so close and never spoke a word in the same language, to the gerbils and how I had a test of my integrity when one of my younger daughters brought the gerbils home -- but all little stories that were insights into moments in my life where I kind of had an "A-ha." I saw something about leadership or I saw something about accountability.

Larry, if I could give them only one gift, I'd ask them not to point fingers and always say, Why doesn't someone else fix it, but to take hands and fix it.

KING: Could you teach leadership?

NELSON: I am teaching.

KING: You can?

NELSON: I am teaching.

KING: You mentioned you don't believe in born leaders?

NELSON: Yes. I think there is -- I think there is -- well, Aristotle said look for the children with gold in them. I think there are some human beings who have a natural caring for others and natural energy and a desire to make a difference. I know Hubert Humphrey said once that you could tell a leader because they felt like everything was their responsibility.

They wanted to fix their friend's children's diseases or they wanted to pick up something off the floor if there was something left on the floor, and -- but I've been teaching corporate responsibility and I do think you can -- you can learn to be an integrative thinker. You can begin to understand that there are relationships beyond the obvious and that sometimes -- actually, I happen to think women are particularly good at it. That -- because I think you need to connect the dots.

It's something you do. I mean, you're a genius at that. You can see relationships. Some people are very linear, and they just don't recognize that there are externalities to every decision and that these decisions are complex. And tomorrow's leaders, I think, are going to need to partner. I think government won't be able to do it alone. NGOs won't be able to do it alone, and business as multi- nationals it is can actually partner and we can solve some of these big problems together. KING: The book is "How We Lead Matters." The guest is the extraordinary Marilyn Carlson Nelson. Subtitle, reflections on a life of leadership. What a life. We'll be right back.


KING: We're back with Marilyn Carlson Nelson. Extraordinary woman. Her book is "How We Lead Matters. " This book was published by accident?

NELSON: It was published by accident, yes, because --

KING: Meaning?

NELSON: After Jamie asked me about my reflections, and I started reflecting and putting it on paper, some of the executives started asking me if they could have copies, and then I got worried. I wanted it to be so honest. It talks about everything from how I felt becoming CEO to having hysterectomy to how I felt when I lost a daughter in an automobile accident, and it's all very, very personal.

And I sent it to a friend who actually, without asking, sent it to McGraw Hill. So unlike most people who shop their books and I got a call that McGraw Hill wanted to publish this. I should send some more stories. And they laugh because they say I'm the only one that ever sat there and said, you don't really think someone would want to read it, do you? And they said, are you talking as out of publishing your book? But I felt like someone was going to have the keys to my diary a little bit.

KING: Do you know David Gergen?

NELSON: I know David Gergen.

KING: Extraordinary guy.

NELSON: He's wonderful. I'm blessed to be on the dean's council at the Kennedy Center and to work from time to time with David Gergen. And he is nurturing public sector leaders. I think he's one of the best examples of true leadership.

KING: He's special. How old was your daughter when she died?

NELSON: Nineteen.

KING: How did you deal with that?

NELSON: How do you deal with it? I think, first of all, you -- you go through all the steps. Everybody sends you books telling you that you're going to go through the steps and you think, oh good, I'm a smart person. I can skip a few but you don't. You go through depression and anger, and they tell you that you're probably going to get a divorce because there's a high probability, but my husband and I almost 50 years now together. We just clung to each other, and slowly but surely, we tried to make sense of it.

KING: Have other children?

NELSON: We have three other children.

KING: Did that help?

NELSON: I'd say at the time I thought when people say you have other children, it was like, they're not -- no one's replaceable. I mean, they're not interchangeable, but I'm sure when I have friends who've lost an only child and how lonely it is, I'm blessed and we are blessed. But the interesting thing, Larry, is that as we started to try to come to grips with it, what we were more aware of than anything was that she didn't have any more time. And we had time.

And the fact that her life was cut off made us realize that ours could be cut off. Any minute. And we wanted to use our days. So, my husband became vice chairman of the Medtronic, and he was a surgeon before that. He went to Medtronic because he felt like maybe he could use his scientific understanding to help more people. And I became just convinced that I wanted every day to matter. So, at night when I go to bed and I pull back the covers, I ask myself, if I were an artist and today was a painting, would I step back and say, I'll sign my name to that.

And some days I can sign my name to -- I've kind of lived up to what I'd like to be. I've been loving. I've been forgiving. I've perhaps struck a blow for things that I believe in and haven't walked away. Some days I don't. But just going through the exercise kind of commits me to trying to use those days to cherish the people I love, to try to make the world a more inclusive place and to use her needless death as long as I have breath to make a difference.

KING: The book "How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership." The guest is Marilyn Carlson Nelson. Some more moments after this.


KING: Marilyn Carlson Nelson is the guest. The book is "How We Lead Matters." David Gergen wrote the foreword which is pretty good for anybody to get a foreword written by someone as no other than knowledgeable and wonderful as Mr. Gergen. It's published by McGraw Hill. There's still a shortage of female CEOs, right?

NELSON: There is.

KING: Why?

NELSON: I don't think there's going to be, actually, Larry. I think, right now, we have 44 percent of the people getting MBAs are women that used to be less than 30 percent. So, I think that's one ticket that a lot of people need to check off. I don't think it's essential that you have an MBA, but I think the culture kind of looks to that as one of the steps. We have 60 percent of the undergraduate degrees now are going to women, 60 percent.

There are two for every two men graduating from undergraduate, three women are graduating, over half of the lawyers, law school, and medical school. So, it's important the pool is there. And I think the demographics are in our favor that if you can say in our favor. The fact is that we're going to be, you know, in our country, we're barely replacing ourselves with two children. Western Europe is less than replacing themselves.

And today, it's not really in the post industrial world, it's not how strong you are or how tall and muscular you are. It's really how you can vision and lead and collaborate, and I think that women are going to partner with men, and I actually think there's going to be that kind of wonderful energy. We got great energy with some of the immigrants who came to our country. My grandfather who came from Sweden, I mean, so full of energy and excited.

KING: Think we'll see a woman president?

NELSON: We almost did.

KING: Almost did.

NELSON: We almost did and a very strong and capable woman. I think we will, of course, one day. I think we'll see a woman president. And --

KING: A great women leaders in other countries.

NELSON: Fantastic. I - I think so often -- I've met with several of them, and even some leader in the more traditional leadership roles. Queen Silvia of Sweden has become a very dear friend. We'd been working -- she created something called the World Childhood Foundation, and she invited our family, my sister Barbara heads our family foundation, and she came and invited us to participate with her in creating the World Childhood Foundation which was to deal with street children.

And then, of course, we backed into a subject that you've been looking at recently because these street children, especially runaway girls, but even little boys, are so vulnerable to being trafficked. It is 21st century slavery. And I guess, if I had to describe myself, I think one of the descriptors I would use would be I like to think of myself as a 21st century abolitionist because we're in the travel business. We discovered that a lot of this plays out through travel and tourism.

That there are over 2.5 million children being trafficked for sexual purposes around the world. And when I heard that 45 percent of the travelers to go see angervot (ph) are really going there to use those children or to buy those children, I thought, we have to do something. And so, Carlson was the first, and I have to say so far, the only significant travel or hotel company in the United States to sign on to end child trafficking with the (INAUDIBLE) which is subsidiary of the United Nations.

KING: Yes.

NELSON: And it was Queen Silvia, really, who said, you have a platform, use it.

KING: And we've not seen the last of you and me.

NELSON: That's good.

KING: I have some ideas about you are an extraordinary lady.

NELSON: I'm so glad to see you.

KING: The book "How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership." The Extraordinary Marilyn Carlson Nelson.

Did you know bats sing and mice giggle? It's true. We're going to talk about it next.


KING: Dr. Karen Shanor is a neuropsychologist and a former White House consultant. She's co-author of a terrific new book, "Bats Sing, Mice Giggle: The Surprising Science of Animals' Inner Lives." Dr. Shanor worked at the Life Sciences Department, including animal research on memory and information theory, a Peace Corps science teacher in Somalia, a consultant for the wildlife conservatory and a frequent lecturer Smithsonian.

How did you get into even do this research? How did this come about?

DR. KAREN SHANOR, NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST: Well, as you know, I've dealt with people for many years as a clinical and neuropsychologist. We're doing something for the Smithsonian on the emotional brain, and when we showed the audience pictures of animals and the emotion in the animals, specifically bats especially, the whole audience was entranced, and suddenly, it was as if they were drawn to something that was so fascinating to them.

And it explained to them a lot of their actions so after that event, I thought, let me deal with animals. Let's find out what's really out there, and my mind was blown when I've gathered the research together. And as of this May, how animals predict earthquakes, how they really communicate with each other, their emotions, how they play.

Some of the courting habits they have, including deception, and really, how they grieve those that they've lost and how closely they communicate with each other. A lot of things as humans we can learn.

KING: Have you been interested before all this in the animal species and their relation to us?

SHANOR: Well, at Stanford I -- of course, as a psychologist had done some research on memory and animal behavior, and then over the years, I have had a lot of animals and then living in Africa for quite a while. So, I've always been interested, and I live in Washington, D.C. basically in the park in, Rock Creek Park, so it's as if I'm surrounded by a lot of wildlife, but I'll tell you. After I wrote this book and gathered all of this together, I have totally changed in terms of what I understand that's happening around me.

The minute I walk out my door to realize that underground a little mole is communicating with another mole 100 yards away by hitting his head against the tunnel, and the other one has his little jaw right there listening to the code or how insects are actually sending out certain vibrations to each other and the code that's there as well. It is amazing, Larry. And that's why animals, it's the first book to show how animals predict earthquakes, for example, how they know when the hurricanes are coming, and as well as how they migrate, where do they know how to get where they're going?

Well, in fact, as of April, we have just found that there's something in the migrating birds' eye that in fact a cryptochrome, a protein that lets them see. Actually, they can see the horizon turns purple, and they can see the magnetic lines of the earth. And we have now found out that bats, those that are migrating, not echo locating where they're using their sound in local areas, but when they start out to migrate as they leave the cave, just a little bit of the sun in sunset strikes their eye a certain way, and they also can see the magnetic lines of the earth and know which way to fly.

KING: When dogs are barking, are they talking to each other?

SHANOR: They may be talking to each other, and they may be talking to us. They could certainly understand most of what we're saying. They just don't have the mechanism to talk back. They may be certainly sending out signals and saying stay away or I'm agitated, or I'm -- or I'm very anxious about all of this. I'm afraid.

Certainly before earthquakes, everybody talks about, well, my dog was barking like crazy just before the earthquake or the cat was trying to get out of the house, or even the worms were coming out of the room, but with dogs, of course. There's a lot of communication that they're giving off. They're often trying to tell us something, and we just are just learning how to listen and to know what the messages are.


KING: In your research, you talk about how animals survive and predict natural disasters you just talked about the way to get before a break (ph), like a tsunami.


KING: How do you explain that? How do you think they know something is coming?

SHANOR: And we start out the book with -- when the tsunami came in 2004, of course, it was started by an earthquake. The head of Yala Wildlife Preserve in Sri Lanka said 22,000 people died, and no dead animals. What do animals know? Well, in -- this is the first book to really connect the dots in terms of what happens with earthquakes because there are a lot of different types of earthquakes at different levels. We talk about the different waves that create earthquakes or the humidity. Animals pick up on humidity that may be there, electrical changes in the earth, electromagnetic changes in the earth. Even the tilting. Every earthquake, the earth tilts a little bit. All of this, the animals -- certain animals, especially sense this, and other animals know to look for that communication.

I go in great detail throughout the book explaining how in fact animals do predict earthquakes.

KING: All right. As I said, it's a terrific book and my quote is on the cover. The book is "Bats Sing, Mice Giggle." A recent world news story reported that there's new scientific evidence that parrots can dance to a tune and even rock 'n' roll. Here's a look at snowball, a dancing cockatoo, who proves we're not the only creatures who like music. Watch.



SHANOR: Parrots have a great sense of humor, and they tell their own jokes. They make up their own jokes. You should have a parrot come on. Alex the parrot used to do that, and certainly a lot of -- especially African gray parrots. They are quite witty and, of course, because we have taught them to talk our language, we even know the jokes that they're telling, but there are many animals that have a great sense of humor.

I have a whole chapter on how animals play. Even ants, it turns out, have a sense of play. They actually have little sword fights with each other. That's according to E.O. Wilson, professor at Harvard, who has studied this. So, animals have a sense of humor. They have fun. And they also very often entertain each other. It's time for us to appreciate everything that's happening.

Such as the fireflies, for example, how they synchronize their lights together or singing crickets or cicada. Suddenly, it all becomes synchronized like the slapping of an audience in a synchronized way of communicating and coming together.

KING: It's an amazing book, birds doing push-ups. I think we're making progress. You'll learn a lot of side from books like this one, and a lot of ways we can connect with the animal world, but I don't know a better one than "Bats Sing, Mice Giggle." One other thing. What do you want people to take away from this?

SHANOR: I want them to realize how much is happening around them, and an electrical level, electromagnetically, the vibrations around them, the communication. I say to people, when I talk at zoos, I say when you visit a zoo, what do you think the animals are saying about you, and they are saying something. We are all communicating and interacting with each other, and as humans to understand more of how this is happening, it's only to our advantage and to our pleasure.

KING: Karen Shanor, the co-author with Jagmeet Kanwal of "Bats Sing, Mice Giggle, The Surprising Science of Animals' Inner Lives." A fantastic book. Thanks, Karen.

SHANOR: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Stay tuned for the latest news next on CNN.