Seeing Blake shine through his program along with his service dog, Eddie, warms our hearts!

The Shelter to Soldier team rescued Eddie under the generous Red Sponsorship of George and Cody Sadler.

Eddie was found as a stray at the border of Tecate, Mexico. He was rescued stateside by a Border Patrol Agent and taken to the San Diego Department of Animal Services Bonita Shelter, where he was later adopted by Shelter to Soldier. Eddie came to the shelter with a medical condition known as Entropion, in which the eyelid folds inward. His sponsor, Cody, remarks “Graham’s trained eye saw through the grime and recognized this dog as a perfect candidate for Shelter to Soldier’s service dog training program.”

Eddie was affectionately named as a tribute to his sponsor George Sadler’s dear Staffordshire Terrier that passed away in October 2019. “Giving Eddie a new lease on life was a memory that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”

Blake is a United States Navy veteran who had been dealing with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). He felt uncomfortable going places and being around people, resulting in him becoming isolated and unable to do normal activities such as going to a grocery store until he learned about Shelter to Soldier through a friend.

During the matching process, Blake met plenty of dogs but didn’t seem to connect with any like he did with Eddie. Eddie was the last dog Blake had met and he knew he was the one when Eddie immediately went up to greet him. We believe Eddie picked Blake!

While Eddie & Blake were in the program, Blake found a new sense of safety and gained newfound hope as the team began their off-site training. He enjoyed the freedom of taking Eddie into town and having him to rely on. Of course, they always ended their lessons with play time and connection, which has strengthened their now unbreakable bond.

Ever since Eddie went home, he has not wanted to leave Blake’s side. On August 25, 2023, the Shelter to Solider came together to celebrate their journey in a graduation ceremony. This team is inseparable!



Other Success Stories

  • Ben + Tank

    San Diego, CA

    Tank came into our program in June 2014 through the sponsorship of The Wintercreek Foundation. Ben applied to our program in the Spring of 2015, and was perhaps one of our most driven applicants.

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  • James + Calver

    San Diego, CA

    Calver is a 3 year-old, male standard schnauzer. His dad, James, applied to Shelter to Soldier™ and was approved to be a recipient due to his diagnosis of TBI (traumatic brain injury) and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)

    Learn more

  • Vic + Kira

    San Diego, CA

    Kira is a loving 4 year old female labrador/pit mix. She was rescued just in time to allow her the opportunity to live a happy, loving and purposeful life.

    Learn more

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