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Schubach Aviation-Sponsored Shelter Dog “Charlie” Flies Through First Phase of Basic Obedience Training

Through Shelter to Soldier, the rescued 15-month-old terrier/bulldog mix is off to a good start to becoming a certified service companion

Charlie shaking hands with Shelter to Soldier founder Graham Bloem.Despite a puppyhood filled with abuse and neglect, rescued former shelter dog “Charlie” is flying through his first phase of basic obedience training on his way to becoming a certified service companion to a U.S. military veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Charlie, a 15-month-old Wire Haired Terrier and Bulldog mix, is enrolled in a nine- to 12-month-long training program through Shelter to Soldier, a San Diego nonprofit organization that rescues shelter dogs, trains them to become service dogs, and places them with deserving, carefully screened veterans struggling with the often disabling psychological affects of war combat.

Schubach Aviation, a leading San Diego private air charter firm with a huge heart for both dogs and veterans, is sponsoring Charlie. The company’s donation will cover the costs of training, housing and feeding Charlie, and pay for his medical care, equipment, travel and grooming while he goes through the program.

Since adopting him in June of this year, Shelter to Soldier Founder Graham Bloem and his team of volunteers have been working with Charlie on his basic obedience commands, focus, noise desensitization and confidence building. 

“In just a few months, we’ve been able to transform Charlie from being a stray shelter dog with no training to a more balanced pup with great foundation obedience,” stated Bloem.  “So far, he knows sit, down, stay, heel, leave it, place, free and come. Charlie still has many months of training ahead of him to prepare him for the service dog exam, but we are very proud of how far he has come already.”

Charlie learns “place” command. Charlie was picked up as a stray at the end of March 2013 when it was estimated he was nine months old, and taken to the Chula Vista Animal Shelter. After spending two months there without being adopted, he was transferred to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society through the Friends of County Animal Shelters program. His behavior was observed as being gentle, social, submissive and playful around other dogs.

“Charlie has an amazing soul,” said Bloem. “Clearly he has been through some tough times but, in the end, I think he might make the best service companion dog we’ve had yet in the Shelter to Solder program. Once he bonds and trusts someone, the connection is very strong.”

For periodic updates on Charlie’s progress in the months ahead, visit Schubach Aviation’s website or “Like” Schubach Aviation and Specialty Dog Training on Facebook.

To see the video of Charlie going through his training commands, please click on:

About Schubach Aviation:

Schubach Aviation is San Diego’s most experienced jet charter operator, providing the corporate community and leisure travelers with private aircraft charters to anywhere in the world. Founded in 1992 by Henry Schubach, the firm employs a team of 35 highly experienced pilots, mechanics, and support staff at 2026 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad, Calif., and at San Diego International Airport.  More information about the company can be found on the web at

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