Animals experience some of the same medical issues as humans. They lose their sight, have higher blood pressure and diabetes. All these adjustments take time for humans and animals alike. Charleston chew is an 11-year-old pug who’s been with his owner, Sharla Wilson since he was a puppy.
The old boy started to lose his sight last year. Recently, Sharla and Charleston moved into a new apartment building. It will take the pug some time to grow accustomed to his new home. As a way of knowing where his human mother is, he will howl loudly to get her attention. He does this frequently.
“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.
“Each time he cries out, Sharla has to respond. “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.”
Charleston will yell out day or night. Early in the morning, he’ll sometimes cry out when he gets lost after drinking from his water bowl. He wants to return to his bed. Sharla has to jump up to help him. If she doesn’t, the howling won’t stop. “He’s just bananas,” she said. “He’s a little grandpa.”
Because Charleston’s wailing occurs quite frequently, Sharla worried it could alarm her neighbors. She created a sign to help explain the noise.
“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.’”
Megan Jones was one of the first to spot the sign. She lives a few floors down from Sharla and Charleston. She was so taken by the sign; she shared it on twitter. “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.”
Her tweet went viral. Sharla was amazed that tens of thousands of people were sharing the sign. She says Charleston would love all the attention. “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.”
Sharla hopes those living in earshot of her baby’s howels will be understanding. “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.”
When she’s not home to rush to his side, Sharla’s found a way to keep Charleston calm. “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 the doting mother, informing her neighbors of Charleston’s howling tendencies is the least she can do for her sweet boy who’s her best friend. She wants to make his later years the best possible. “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.”