Andrew Knapp

Aylee & Charlie

Andrew Knapp
Aylee & Charlie

In Mexico, a twelve-year-old Aylee’s heart melted when she talked her family into rescuing a dog with a broken leg that stumbled up to them. They ended up bringing her back home to the US. Back then, her family bred Jack Russels. Today, thanks to Aylee’s persistence and championing of rescue dogs, everybody in her family has adopted a dog.

Aylee is a photographer in Los Angeles. She met Charlie on valentines day at the Burbank shelter. Strict rules about adopting pit bulls led her to this shelter, where she’d be able to find one that she could adopt.

She was concerned at first, when she adopted Charlie, that his personality might change. It’s not unheard of for pit bulls. And though he did try to run away a few times, Charlie ended up showing no aggression, and is the most loving dog to greet a stranger. Soon enough, he unexpectedly became her running partner, and as a result her own health improved. Solitude and loneliness are two different things, she says, and having Charlie makes her feel more confident in her solitude.


She dubs Charlie “the most useless guard dog”, but still, he may have saved her life. Aylee recalls running at night where she noticed a man had been following her a couple of times before. Charlie asserted himself between her and this man, and uncharacteristically showed enough aggression to scare him off. A few weeks later, she’d heard of a few girls that were found dead in the same park. The murderer’s description matched that of the man Charlie had scared away.

She didn’t necessarily expect a bodyguard from Charlie, especially as he’s shown nothing but friendliness towards just about everyone. But he wasn’t in good shape when they first found him at the rescue. And seeing him so playful and positive with everyone who walks into the door reminds her not to let the past burden her. The two of them can be found adventuring through California and beyond, and Aylee runs a home studio where she’s found a niche photographing dogs.



If you liked this story, consider donating to the Karma Rescue in Los Angeles, or donate or spend some time helping out at a local rescue you prefer.




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