I’ve been asked the above question countless times over my many years in practice. The answer to this question is a resounding YES; I’d like to share the most recent experience I had with non-domesticated animals with you: The Story of Mr. & Mrs. John Dove.
My car rests at night in a covered parking area. Underneath the cover, there are several florescent lights for safe parking. One morning, I came down to find that there were two doves extremely busy creating a nest inside in one of the fixtures over my car. I immediately thought that this is not a good place to nest for many reasons. The doves were only a few feet from where I was standing, so I stopped and asked if they would kindly move their nest since this was not a safe place to have babies.
As soon as I asked, Mr. Dove said, “Sure, we will move!” and he flew off thinking that his wife Mrs. Dove would be right behind. He flew high but stopped in one of the trees next to the building when he realized that Mrs. Dove was still in the nest.
She said to me “I am NOT moving.”
She was staring me down and it was then I realized that birds do not usually move their nest particularly when asked by a human. I settled with this fact but continued the conversation telling her that I understood how she felt. I walked away and accepted the fact that she had her reasons to stay. I told her that I respected her decision and went upstairs.
The next morning when I came down I saw Mr. and Mrs. Dove building in a different light on the far side of my car. She had indeed moved her nest from the first light. I thanked so much for moving the nest but told her again that she was still in danger because the lights were not a safe place for nesting. This time I explained to her that there was too much human activity that would scare her babies. I pointed to a place on the deck of an empty apartment where it was quieter and out of the way of human traffic. They both gave me a look of disgust. I got in my car and drove away.
When I came back that afternoon they were completely gone from both locations. She had moved her nest yet again. I communicated with her silently thanking her again and assuring her that she made the right decision. A few days later when the gardener was blowing the leaves with the blower, I received a message from her thanking me for my good advice. She communicated that she and her family were safe.
Communication with animals takes time, patience and most importantly believing that it is possible.
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