Please stop what you're doing and say hi to Charleston Chew.

He's an adorable old pug from Pennsylvania who's recently won over the internet's heart.

And he'll likely win over yours, too.

All photos courtesy of Sharla Wilson, used with permission.


(According to his human, Charleston goes by about a dozen other names — including Muffin Toes, Puffins, Chi Chi, and Butters. But for the sake of simplicity, let's stick with Charleston.)

Charleston and his owner, Sharla Wilson, recently moved into a new home in Pittsburgh.

But Charleston's been having some real issues with the change.

You see, the new apartment — with its foreign floor plan and unusual surroundings — has been stressful for 11-year-old creature of habit Charleston.

So he's been a bit louder than usual throughout the adjustment period.

Concerned her new neighbors may be irked by Charleston's stress-induced howls, Wilson taped a message to her front door.

"Hello, Neighbors!" the note began. "My name is Charleston Chew and I'm very sorry for my howling."

Men share times when they've stood up to misogynistic behavior.

The message continued:

"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. I don't mean to be such a pain.

Charleston Chew Pug
Apt 502"

"It's a quiet building and I just didn't want anyone losing sleep or getting upset over his challenges to adjusting," Wilson explains in an email to Upworthy. "This isn't something he just does when I'm away at work. If I'm in another room or in the shower, he'll howl for me if he wakes up and I'm not by his side."

She's not kidding. Here's a cute video of Charleston howling ... at a dandelion.

One of Charleston's new neighbors, Megan Jones, spotted the note on Wilson's door and shared a pic of it on Twitter. "You howl all you want Charleston, honey," she wrote.

Penguins in New Zealand repeatedly detained after showing 'complete disregard for police authority.'

Her tweet totally took off.

Since Jones shared it on April 30, nearly half a million people have liked the image, and over 120,000 have retweeted it (at the time of this writing).

Charleston truly has gone ridiculously viral.

The replies to Jones' tweet were delightful as well. Many people were losing it over how adorable Charleston is, and many fellow pet owners shared pics of their own four-legged family members.

"What an awesome mom!" one user chimed in. "Letting the new neighbors know what's going on in such an adorable way!"

Charleston's viral fame even made its way back to Wilson and Jones' landlord!

The story is super sweet all on its own — but it gets even sweeter when you learn how much Charleston has meant to Wilson over the years.

Charleston was given to Wilson when he was just 5 weeks old. He weighed less than 3 pounds and wobbled more than he actually walked.

"I'm a big proponent of adoption and wasn't in the market for a dog," Wilson said. "That being said, as soon as I saw his tiny little face, he had my heart."

The little pup has helped Wilson through more than he'll ever know.

"Charleston has been my constant through some of the biggest struggles and obstacles I've faced," Wilson says. "He's been a steadfast source of laughter and joy. He has been a driving force of renewal and hope during my darkest days. He is the embodiment of the purest form of unconditional love this world has to offer."

He's the biggest sweetheart, Wilson emphasizes, always making friends with cats, children, and other dogs, too: "He's just the nicest dude."

Maybe he's not the fiercest guard dog — "My apartment was once broken into and I guarantee you [Charleston] offered the intruder a beer and helped him carry the stolen goods to the car," Wilson jokes — but he's a kind-hearted keeper nonetheless.

Charleston's health has been declining, though.

And as many pet owners know all too well, it's a tough experience for Wilson.

Among other ailments, Charleston has diabetes, which keeps him on a very strict diet. Wilson said she can spend over $300 a month on items like insulin, prescription food, lotions, and pee pads: "I stretch myself to try and give him the best life after all that he's given me."

"It's difficult not to feel sorrow from time to time at the idea of losing my sweet boy," she says.

Fortunately, the love-struck internet wanted to help Charleston out.

And a few big pet brands caught wind.

Wilson confirms that PetSmart is letting Charleston and Wilson go on a shopping spree, free of charge. A company called WyzeCam is providing camera so that Wilson can keep tabs on Charleston when she's away from the apartment. And 1-800-PetMeds is sending a goodie basket filled with calming tabs, an activity monitor, and more.

Wilson has had "tears in [her] eyes" from all the love sent Charleston's way. She's "at a loss, shocked by it," she says. "To be able to give him a bit more and get some things that were beyond my means is just incredible."

But beyond any tangible items, Wilson is most touched by the fact that strangers near and far have been able to get to know the Charleston she's adored from the start.

"This outpouring of love has been the most comforting experience," she says. "I see Charleston as this unique and wonderful little guy, and to feel so many people experiencing that with me has been inconceivably fulfilling. His big heart has touched people and it's beautiful to feel that I'm not alone in my sentiment."

"He and I are a tag team of weirdos," Wilson concludes. "And I wouldn't have it any other way."

To keep tabs on Charleston, follow him and Wilson on Twitter.

This article was originally publisted on May 5, 2018.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

Keep Reading Show less