Harlie had been given into AWL's care with just one eye, and some of the worst matted fur the staff had seen before. In pain, Harlie initially couldn't be held, but after a bit of TLC, he was a favourite of the staff and was ready to find his forever home.
It was love at first sight for motorcycle enthusiast Karin who, after an accident in 2016 had left her mostly immobile, said, "All I want in my life now is a little dog to keep me company."
During the episode, Harlie and Karin became fast family, and we saw how much joy they brought each other. Speaking to 10 play Karin said, "Harlie has changed me in so many ways.
"I don't feel alone now, that is the biggest thing for me, I don't have so many nightmares. He makes me feel safe in my home as he will bark if he hears any noises at the door or if someone comes up the path."
Looking back, Karin admitted that she was scared at the idea of adopting a rescue dog through AWL, having to speak about the accident that resulted in her using a wheelchair and not sure if she would find a companion.
"Then the girls came back to me and they said they had a little boy called Harlie, a little Maltese needing a new family," Karin said. "The wait in the meeting area was so hard, hoping and wishing that the little dog [who] was going to walk through the door would like me enough to come to me when I called him."
The staff had warned Karin that Harlie had been a little aloof during meetings, but it was still difficult not to interpret his casual first impression as flat-out dislike.
"I started to think he was not going to like me, and that he was not the little fur ball I desperately wanted and needed," Karin admitted. "But I knew the moment he came through that door that I wanted to take that special little dog home, to keep him safe and show him he would be loved."
Harlie's aloof attitude continued when Karin finally got him home, "But in a matter of a few days, Harlie was the king of the house and he knows it," she added.
"He follows me around the house, if I sit on the lounge, he is up there with me snuggled up beside me or on my lap. If the doorbell goes, he races to the door, eager to greet who is on the other side. He simply loves visitors."
Now, Harlie bounces when he runs across the wooden floorboards, with Karin describing him as "a little rabbit" as he rushes to see who could be at the door.
"I love how he knows when I get home, even before I get to the front door... I love how he turns around in little circles when I open the front door as he welcomes me home again," Karin said.
"Harlie loves to go up to the shops with me, riding on my lap, and he loves to meet new people who come up to say hello to him," she continued. "He will walk for about one block but then he will stop dead in front of my wheelchair and wait for me to pick him up for his ride up to the shops.'
"Having Harlie is the most wonderful thing to happen to me in a long, long time... I no longer cry and feel alone now. I love going home because the house is not empty... I have my little boy there waiting for me.
"Harlie snuggles up to me as if to say, 'I am here to brighten your day mum.'"