The one time Dooley tends to get territorial is when it’s time to clean his cage. He just can’t seem to stand it when I put down fresh newspaper or wipe the cage skirt. He doesn’t mind coming close for tickles, treatums or scritchums but hates when he feels his precious filth is being violated.
And what does he do to display his displeasure? He makes what I call the “sonic peep”. It’s not whistle, not a hoot or any sound effect. It’s a high pitched, super short “peep” sound. Imagine the quick toot of a coaches whistle…in your ear.
Dooley has mastered the “sonic peep” and knows how to execute it for maximum pain. He moves to a spot in the cage that puts him as close as he can get and peeps directly into your ear when you are quiet and distracted. And boy does it hurt! And I am fairly sure Dooley knows it.
Early on I discovered that Dooley had three criteria for executing the sonic peep:
1. The distance between him and my ear had to the shortest it could be
2. It had to be quiet
3. No eye contact. It is always a surprise attack.
This has lead to the creation of the “Don’t peep in my ear” song which I sing while performing routine maintenance and cleaning on Dooley’s cage. I also eliminate the element of surprise by looking at him frequently.