Old Dog's Apology for Howling Wins The Internet's Heart
Photo: Megan Jones
Neighbors at a quiet apartment in Pennsylvania now know why they hear a horrific sound coming from the fifth floor, and they’re quite all right with it.

An old dog with cataract issues apologizes to his neighbors for his separation anxiety-related howls. Charleston Chew, an 11-year-old pug, recently moved into a new apartment in Pennsylvania with his owner, Sharla Wilson, and he's still trying to get settled in.

But it's harder for Charleston to get used to the changes in his new surroundings. His separation anxiety has increased because he would sometimes bump into walls and wouldn't know where things are. To get help and the attention from his human, Charleston would out a loud howl, which Shara described as horrific, news reported. She even said that the noise sounded quite alien, too.

Old Pug that howls
Photo: Sharla Wilson

Sharla adopted the pug since he was a puppy and they have been best friends for over a decade. Last year, Charleston developed diabetes, which caused a complication in his eyes.

What Is A Cataract?

At least 75 percent of dogs with diabetes develop cataracts. The condition causes the lenses to cloud, thus affecting vision.

Cataracts develop quickly and could cause complete blindness within nine months. Dog owners can slow down the progression of cataracts in their dogs with diabetes with canine antioxidant supplements. In serious cases, an eye surgery might be necessary.

Old dog that howls
Photo: Sharla Wilson

But cataracts may also develop due to poor diet or complications from medications. Older dogs are also prone to the condition.

Charleston Chew's Apology

Sharla is used to Charleston's howls. Sometimes, she would turn on the television so the pug would know that his daytime soap opera is on. Sharla said that this usually helps calm him down.

Old Pug apologizes for howling
Photo: Sharla Wilson

But the dog mom has concerns that the neighbors might complain about the horrible sound, especially since they live in a quiet community. Thankfully, no one has come knocking on their apartment door. Sharla, however, thought it might be best to let her neighbors know so she crafted an apology letter “written” by her dog.

In the letter, Charleston detailed that he's old and has cataracts, and is still quite scared of his new place. He also asked his neighbors to be patient with him. The letter also came with two photos of the adorable pug.

Howl All You Want, Charleston!

Megan Jones saw the apology letter and shared it on the internet. The neighbor admitted that she had been annoyed by the noise coming from the fifth floor, but after learning Charleston predicament, she's letting it pass.

Since sharing Charleston's apology, nearly 500,000 have liked Megan's Twitter post and almost 122,000 have retweeted the message.

Charleston has become quite the internet sensation as letters and gifts from strangers poured in because of the viral post. His mom also opened an account on Twitter to share updates about the dog and the love he's getting from the online community.

Caring For An Aging Pug

Older pugs begin showing signs of when nine years old. Among these symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst and urination (diabetes)
  • Increased tiredness
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Excessive panting and coughing
  • Difficulty in getting up from the bed (arthritis)
  • Separation anxiety

Aging dogs need to get screened for health problems so that their owners can initiate preventive maintenance medications or change their diet and exercise routines.  They also require regular visits to the veterinarian at least twice a year.

Old Pug with cataracts
Photo: Sharla Wilson

Older pugs are also at risk for obesity, so exercise is crucial at this stage. Gum disease is also common in aging pugs, so they require regular teeth brushing and dental checkups. Ask your vet for any nutritional supplements as well, especially if your aging pug has experienced joint issues before.

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Camden Savage is a Phoenix based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught her every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.