Cover image for No ordinary dog : my partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden raid
No ordinary dog : my partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden raid
Physical Description:
xvii, 310 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm

On Order

R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
Park Grove Library (Cottage Grove)1On Order




No Ordinary Dog is the powerful true story of a SEAL Team Operator and military dog handler, and the dog that saved his life.

Two dozen Navy SEALs descended on Osama bin Laden's compound in May 2011. After the mission, only one name was made public: Cairo, a Belgian Malinois and military working dog. This is Cairo's story, and that of his handler, Will Chesney, a SEAL Team Operator whose life would be irrevocably tied to Cairo's.

Starting in 2008, when Will was introduced to the SEAL canine program, he and Cairo worked side by side, depending on each other for survival on hundreds of critical operations in the war on terrorism. But their bond transcended their service. Then, in 2011, the call came: Pick up your dog and get back to Virginia. Now.

What followed were several weeks of training for a secret mission. It soon became clear that this was no ordinary operation. Cairo was among the first members of the U.S. military on the ground in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the successful elimination of bin Laden.

As Cairo settled into a role as a reliable "spare dog," Will went back to his job as a DEVGRU operator, until a grenade blast in 2013 left him with a brain injury and PTSD. Unable to participate in further missions, he suffered from crippling migraines, chronic pain, memory issues, and depression. Modern medicine provided only modest relief. Instead, it was up to Cairo to save Will's life once more--and then up to Will to be there when Cairo needed him the most.

Author Notes

WILL CHESNEY served in the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group as an operator and dog handler. He participated in Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Chesney received a Silver Star and a Purple Heart, and now helps veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injury.

JOE LAYDEN is an award-winning journalist and writer. His books include the New York Times bestseller As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Former U.S. Navy SEAL Chesney offers an inside look at life in the Special Forces and pays tribute to his canine partner Cairo in this heartfelt debut. Chesney details the intense mental and physical stresses of SEAL training, noting that only 20% of candidates graduate, and sketches his early deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Impressed by two military working dogs embedded with his unit in Afghanistan, Chesney, a self-described "dog guy," decided to become a canine handler. At the end of a two-week "indoctrination period," he was assigned Cairo, a Belgian Malinois with a hard work ethic and easygoing demeanor. He documents their growing bond over the course of several deployments, highlighting a mission in which Cairo was shot twice while flushing out a pair of insurgents and their participation in the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. After Chesney's medical retirement (due to a brain injury), he fought bureaucratic red tape to bring Cairo home with him. Touching on the power of the human-animal bond, the effects of PTSD, and the legacy of the "war on terror," this earnest account delivers many memorable moments. Dog lovers and fans of military history will be enthralled. (Apr.)

Library Journal Review

After Navy SEALs eliminated Osama bin Laden in May 2011, only one team member was named: military dog Cairo, a Belgian Malinois. Here, handler Chesney tells Cairo's story, from his work with Cairo in the DEVGRU canine program to the many critical missions they undertook to the grenade explosion that left Chesney with a brain injury and PTSD, when Cairo eased his pain as modern medicine could not. And Chesney was there at the end for Cairo, too.