Woman Writes Sweet Note To Neighbors Apologizing For Her Noisy Pug
"His howl is crazy ... It sounds like some sort of alien life form."
Meet Charleston Chew — a sweet senior pug who recently moved into a new apartment building with his mom in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
He's yet to meet all his new neighbors, but by now, most are already familiar with him.
At 11 years old, Charleston isn't the spry young pup he used to be, but he's learned to cope with the challenges that come with aging.
Since his eyesight began to fade last year, Charleston developed a straight-to-the-point technique for getting attention from his adoring owner, Sharla Wilson, wherever she might be: He howls his distinct pug howl — like, really, really loudly.
"It’s the most horrific sound you’ve ever heard," Wilson told The Dodo. "His howl is crazy. It’s a startling noise, to say the least. It sounds like some sort of alien life form."
Wilson adopted Charleston as a puppy, and they've been best friends ever since. So, of course, she always comes running to his side when he calls out to her.
"I have to physically touch him — then he’s happy and well again. He just wants to know where I am," Wilson said. "He’s very quirky and very spoiled."
Sometimes, Charleston will howl super early in the morning, after getting lost on his way back to bed after visiting his water bowl. Wilson then has to leap up and find him to make it stop.
"He’s just bananas," she said. "He’s a little grandpa."
The little dog's horrific howling happens quite often, but Wilson has gotten used to it; she adores Charleston, so it's really no big deal. But since moving into their new place, which will take the dog some getting used to, she's worried that their neighbors might be alarmed by his howling.
It felt like a good idea to let them know about Charleston.
"No one had complained yet. I was told that it was a quiet building, so I made a note thinking we'd get ahead of it," Wilson said. "I put this sign up as an advisement, like, ‘Sorry everybody. This maniac is going to howl.’"
Here's what it looks like.
Among the first people to spot the sign was Megan Jones. She lives a couple of floors down from Wilson and her dog, but it's fair to say she's smitten.
"I accidentally rode the elevator to the fifth floor," Jones told The Dodo. "I was annoyed with myself but then looked up to see Charleston’s sign which made the inconvenience totally worth it."
She decided to tweet her approval.
Sure enough, that tweet went viral.
When Wilson learned that tens of thousands of people online were sharing Charleston's sign, she was amazed. Wilson knows her noisy pug wouldn't mind all the attention he's getting.
"He loves everybody — dogs, cats, kids — everybody and everything. He’s an absolute lovebug in all respects," she said. "Everyone is his new best friend."
Hopefully, folks living within earshot of Charleston Chew will be understanding of his louder tendencies.
"I’d love to have a little meet and greet with my neighbors, so they can all get to know the source of the howling, and accept him for who he is," Wilson said. "He’s just a pug, making his way through life."
Thankfully, Wilson has found a way to limit her pup's sounds when she's not around to rush to his side: "He loves daytime soap operas. That’s what he watches during the day. I think he howls less when he’s watching his stories."
For Wilson, going out of her way to make her new neighbors understand Charleston is the least she can do for her best friend in his later years.
"He’s been my light during some tough times. He’s been my friend. He’s been everything," Wilson said. "It’s heartbreaking to see him struggle, but I’m doing my best to accommodate him. It’s absolutely worth it. He’s been one of the greatest joys of my life."