No Ordinary Dog: The True Story of the Dog in the Osama bin Laden Mission

www.akc.org
7 min read
fairly easy
"No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the bin Laden Raid," by Will Chesney with Joe Layden. St. Martin's Press. $28.99 ($19.23 on Amazon). While this title is right on target, an equally appropriate one would be "Cheese & Cairo." While it's not a sandwich, it would capture the story of two […]
"No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the bin Laden Raid," by Will Chesney with Joe Layden. St. Martin's Press. $28.99 ($19.23 on Amazon).

While this title is right on target, an equally appropriate one would be "Cheese & Cairo." While it's not a sandwich, it would capture the story of two soulmates.

It probably wouldn't sell as many books, but make no mistake about it, this resonating adventure of THE dog on the famous attack on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan in 2011 is as much about Will Chesney (nickname Cheese), Cairo's adroit handler, as the finely tuned 70-pound Belgian Malinois that became a national celebrity overnight.

Packed with energy and promise throughout – and a mix of psychological body blows from one chapter to the next – "No Ordinary Dog" is a window into the brittle dynamics of one dog team's interactions in and out of the Middle East war zone.

Beyond Friendship

In the Introduction, Chesney establishes, "Cairo was my dog. And I was his dad. I don't use that term euphemistically. The relationship between a handler and a canine SEAL is profound and intimate. It goes well beyond friendship and the usual ties that bind man to dog. The training is experiential and all-encompassing, a round-the-clock immersion designed to foster not just expertise but an attachment of uncommon depth and complexity."

From the moment Chesney first met Cairo until he was forced to let go a decade later when cancer felled the spirited fighting machine, this is a special union, sometimes separated by thousands of miles, and other occasions a few feet.

Chesney's focus is directed on the "exhaustive and intricate training" served up in fine-tuning Cairo's soldiering capabilities that were put to the test in a wide mix of challenges from tiny villages to mountainous hideaways. Yes, the attack on bin Laden's compound gets plenty of attention, too, but this exhilarating narrative is about the journey, not simply that renowned mission.

And, oh, by…
Ranny Green
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