|Read an Excerpt|
Now, how about May 2, 2011—what can you tell me about that day? Actually, I can't recall anything about it, but the author of No Ordinary Dog, Will Chesney, was there when the mastermind of September 11th, Osama Bin Laden, was finally brought to justice during one of the most incredible Navy SEAL operations of all time.
Due to the highly classified nature of the ultimate in top secret missions, only one operative's name was released at the time—Cairo—the extraordinary military dog present during the raid. This is the story of Cairo and Will's journey to achieving their joint, and yet distinct, destinies. Most of all, it is a poignant tribute to the life-changing power of the human-animal bond.
Chesney knew his destiny very early in life. All he ever wanted to be was a Navy SEAL. It was that, or nothing. Likewise, Cairo, an exquisite Belgian Malinois, was bred, raised, and trained for an equally elite destiny. Few animals ever make the cut when it comes to serving as a special ops war dog. Cairo was among the rarest of the rare.
Though I had read books and seen movies about Navy SEALS, nothing ever really drove home the extreme sacrifices made by these rare individuals like No Ordinary Dog. Reading Chesney's accounts of what he felt and experienced during his SEAL training made me wonder how anyone ever endured that rite of passage. Likewise, despite reading dozens of books about the process of how service dogs are prepared for their work, this was a very different look into the becoming of a top-of-the-line military counterterrorism dog. It was fascinating to learn about the motivations and methods that come together to create a weaponized canine capable of functioning at unbelievably complex levels.
Over the course of their tours of duty, there was plenty of action and many memorable moments in service to their country. If you are like me, though, it will be their final mission that stands out. When Will is seriously wounded by a grenade explosion, and suffers from the long-term impacts of PTSD and other equally debilitating injuries, it will take the unbreakable bond he shares with Cairo to get him through the greatest challenge of his life.
This is a book for anyone who loves dogs, enjoys military history, appreciates the sacrifices made by our human and canine military forces, or who finds inspiration in the incomparable connection between humans and their animals. It is a book that will stay with you during this time when our nation is once again shaken to its very core just as it was on that September day so many years ago.
Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in return for my honest review. This book will be released on April 21, 2020. Available for pre-order today.
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