No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney, Joe Layden

No Ordinary Dog is the powerful true story of Will Chesney, SEAL Team Operator and military dog handler, and Cairo, the dog that saved his life. In May 2011, two dozen Navy SEALs descended on Osama bin Laden’s compound. The only mission member whose name was publicized was Cairo, a Belgian Malinois and military working dog. This book tells Cairo’s story and his handler, Will Chesney, as they became irrevocably tied together. 

Will Chesney, US Navy SEAL

Will was introduced to the SEAL canine program in 2008. He worked side by side with Cairo, depending on him for survival as Cairo depended on him. They performed hundreds of critical operations in the Global War on Terror together. They also bonded beyond their service. In 2011 Will was instructed to bring Cairo to Virginia for secret mission training. Cairo was to be among the first members of the US military on the ground in Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the successful elimination of bin Laden.

My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid

After the raid, Cairo settled into a role as a reliable ‘spare dog,’ Will went back to being a DEVGRU operator. However, a grenade blast in 2013 left him with a brain injury and PTSD. His inability to participate in missions compounded his crippling migraines, chronic pain, memory issues, and depression. Modern medicine was only able to do so much. Cairo was the missing piece of the puzzle. He saved Will’s life once more, and in turn, Will was there when Cairo needed him most. No Ordinary Dog was written by Will Chesney with Joe Layden, co-author of multiple New York Times bestsellers.

Praise for ‘No Ordinary Dog’

I am one of the people fortunate enough to know Will Chesney and very lucky to have spent a little time with the ‘retired’ Cairo. I’ve said many times that I don’t really think I KNOW Will, which is kinda sad/unfortunate because I met him 6+ years ago. I’m so grateful for this incredible book as I’ve gotten to know a wonderful young man, the real man, the man he doesn’t talk about, himself!! 

Will doesn’t talk about what he’s been through, the things he’s seen, or the heartache he’s endured. I’ve heard him talk about Cairo on numerous occasions; that’s a part of him he’s always wanted to share!! You can’t keep a lid on that kind of love!! I’m only halfway thru the book, and I’ve cried (sobbed too), cringed, smiled, and laughed a little! I like that Will has incorporated his early years, BUDS training, unimaginable trust, bond, love, loyalty, and devotion to Cairo!! So looking forward to reading more, to see where he goes next!!! 

Will, I love you and will be forever grateful for your service, Cairo’s service, and the many sacrifices you’ve both endured for our country!! I pray for your continued good health!! Thank you, Will, for putting your story out there for all of us to share what most of us could never begin to imagine!! Love and many blessings to you always. ~ Jean

This book is absolutely outstanding! It’s like Marley and me, but with Navy SEALs. I was quite literally laughing while I was crying half the time. It’s beautifully written and an amazing story about the friendship between a military working dog and his Handler. Plus, I’m always fascinated with any insight into the Osama bin Laden raid. It’s a great departure from all the self-aggrandizing Navy seal books out there. It’s obvious Chesney had a special connection with this dog and doesn’t want the limelight. This is all about Cairo. – W.S.

I didn’t know what to expect from this book, other than I love dogs, and Cairo’s eyes on the front of the book stole my heart. The introduction was the best I have ever read for sincerity and compassion from a dog lover. Navy SEAL training explanation took and kept me right there with them. I loved every minute of it! I am not ashamed that I shed many tears.

I have purchased the book for a fellow dog lover, who now has cancer, for a gift, and know that he will enjoy reading it, having had several really special dogs. I know the book will bring him joy!

I applaud the authors, and “Cheese” is to be rewarded for a job really WELL DONE! 

I am a veteran, and my heart goes out to this Handler! – Rebecca Wolfe


Tags: Global War on Terror, Military Dog, New York Times bestsellers, Operation Neptune Spear, Osama Bin Laden, Purple Heart, Seal Team Operator, Silver Star Medal, Together We Served, US Navy, US Navy Seal


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