Lifestyle & Human Interest

Neighbor Snaps Photo After Owner Posts Apology Note on Door About Howling Senior Dog


In her 2013 story “Flying On My Hatred of My Neighbor’s Dog,” science-fiction writer Shaenon Garrity imagined a future where personal animosity became a renewable energy source. So when astronauts wanted to fly into outer space, they turned to someone with an intense dislike of her neighbor’s dog in order to power their starship.

True, it’s a slightly silly premise for a speculative-fiction story. However, it taps into an all-too-real truth.

Many people really hate it when nearby canines howl to their hearts’ content. Fortunately, some dog lovers take creative steps to apologizes to those around them for their yappy doggos.

Of course, it would help if neighbors understood exactly why Fluffy and Bowser kick up such a fuss in the first place. Tooraj Haghverdi explained the various reasons why dogs howl on Medium.

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Sometimes howling simply involves community gathering, a way for one animal to draw others into a shared space. Other times it does the exact opposite, becoming a warning against crossing a boundary line.

Dogs may howl if they’re hurt or if they want to hunt something, or they may howl if they’re simply afraid.

Is there a loud dog in your neighborhood?

You get the idea: Canines howl for a whole host of reasons, and one group has decided that any doggy vocalization is too much.

A New Jersey suburb has plans to outlaw barking dogs — and they’re dead serious about it, The New York Times reported. The borough of Saddle River has laid out a potential ordinance that carries stiff fines for overly loud dogs.

Penalties from $100 to $1,000 per occurrence would come into effect for any dog barking for more than 20 minutes during daytime hours. At night, they can’t bark continuously for more than 15 minutes.

The most ironic part of the whole legislative debacle? There are only three dogs in the neighborhood.

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Perhaps Saddle River wouldn’t have turned to such drastic means if the owner of that trio of pups would’ve shown the grace and kindness of a renter in downtown Pittsburgh. Sharla Wilson recently moved to an apartment complex with an elderly pug she named Charleston Chew, according to KDKA.

Sadly, Charleston’s advanced age has rendered him basically blind. And being blind, the pup gets anxious when he can’t find his owner.

So, Charleston breaks out into blood-curdling yowls whenever he is unable to locate Wilson.

Understanding the negative impact this might have on her neighbors, Wilson proceeded to plaster their doors with a notice purportedly written by Charleston himself. It read, “My name is Charleston Chew, and I’m very sorry for howling.

“I’m an old man now with cataracts, and sometimes I get real scared because I can’t see where I am and can’t find my mom. As I get used to my new place, I will start to settle down. Thanks for being patient with me.”

So far, people seem to be accepting his vocalizations with grace, one person even tweeting, “You howl all you want Charleston, honey.” That’s about as sweet of sentiment as you could hope for.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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