Warrior Dogs: Honoring the Service & Sacrifice of America’s Four-Legged Fighters

Warrior Dogs
Courage – Honor – Faithfulness – Sacrifice

In the Main Gallery from February 24 through August 25, 2024
presented in partnership with the Tug McGraw Foundation

Honoring the service and sacrifice of American military and working dogs, this emotional, inspiring exhibition takes a deep dive into the heroic partnership between military dogs, their trainers and handlers and veterinarians, and other soldiers with whom they serve. The exhibition includes 16 lifesize wooden sculptures by acclaimed artist James Mellick, including Cairo, who deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy SEAL Team for the Bin Laden raid. A kid-friendly “petting dog” sculpture by James Mellick is also included.

Visitors of all ages will learn about the history of dogs in combat, about puppies “born to be brave,” their selection, training and specialized combat gear, and the handlers and trainers who make them battle-ready. Discover, through rare photos and stories, the extraordinary bonds warrior dogs share with the armed forces they serve and protect. A portion of the exhibition is dedicated to working dogs serving with Veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, First Responders, Law Enforcement Firefighters, and other civilian forces.  

Support the Museum and the Tug McGraw Foundation by shopping our exclusive Warrior Dog merchandise in our Museum Store and online, and adorn your own canine warrior!

Important Exhibition Note: Some exhibition sculptures depict images that could be sensitive for children and Veterans. Visitor discretion is advised.

Warrior Dogs is a family-friendly exhibition for humans. For the safety of visitors and preservation of objects on loan, only Service Animals* are allowed in the galleries. There will be special events, however, where animal companions and pets will be welcomed on the outdoor patio and Museum Terrace. Visit our website and sign up for our newsletter to be notified of these events!

*a service animal is defined by the ADA as a Dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Certain dogs from K-9 and other law enforcement units will be welcomed in the galleries by prior arrangement with the Museum. Please contact info@napavalleymuseum.org 

Don’t forget to MINT YOUR FREE POAP!


Photo Credit: Marine Corps Cpl. Tanner Seims “Raid Ready” – Larry, a Marine Corps military working dog, waits to begin a training raid with Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 9, 2019

Museum Members:                                Free (Not a member? Join Now)
Non-Member Adults (18 to under 65):   $15.00
Non-Members Seniors (65+), Veterans, Law Enforcement and First-Responders   $10.00
Youth (6–17):                                          $5.00
Yountville Veterans Home Residents, Active Duty Military,Children (5 and under):  Free 
Audio tours and add-ons at additional cost.

Special thanks to
Tug McGraw Foundation and Jennifer Brusstar
James Mellick
Robert Sakuta and Leslie Flowers of the Marco Island Art Museum
the Town of Yountville
Napa County Board of Supervisors
and the members and supporters of Napa Valley Museum Yountville

Featured image above: “Handshake” Photo Credits: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Sabrina Candiaflores

On display is the sculpture “Cairo,” a large Belgian Malinois. Cairo deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 with a U.S. Navy Seal Team as part of Operation Neptune Spear. For their actions, the Seal Team members were awarded the Silver Star. In 2022, Cairo was recognized by the Animals in War and Peace with the Medal of Bravery.  Cairo’s handler ex-Navy SEAL Will Chesney’s book about their experiences “No Ordinary Dog” is available in the Museum Store.

Photos of “Not Forgotten” and “Cairo”  by James Mellick, courtesy of the artist