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Publisher's Summary

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. Guts, glory, danger, and sacrifice are all in a day's work for Hank the Cowdog, Head of Ranch Security. While investigating a murder on the ranch, Hank finds himself the number-one suspect. He resigns and heads for the hills to become an outlaw. A band of ruthless coyotes are happy to teach Hank the trade. Will Hank be forced to raid his own ranch?

Hank sings "How Do I Do It?" and Rip and Snort sing "Me, Just a Worthless Coyote" in this hilarious adventure for the whole family.

Hot dog: Don't miss out on any of Hank the Cowdog's adventures.
©1983 John R. Erickson (P)1983 John R. Erickson

Critic Reviews

"Hank and his tales are hilarious....John R. Erickson's expressive, versatile, and energetic performance brings his own creation to life perfectly. Music and sound effects throughout complement this delightful tale, which will have listeners howling at Hank, the coyotes, and maybe the moon." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Hank: a timeless chuckle for families everywhere.

Hank the Cowdog is an old series of books. The first, "The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog" was first introduced to my family as an attempt on my father's part to make mini road trip in a minivan packed with bored children more tolerable. The result was that it was an instant staple for future road trips and remembered with fondness today even after most of my siblings now have children of their own.

I purchased and listened to this audiobook out of fond memories of the stories and the family trips associated with them, but was surprised at how well Hank the Cowdog held up. The setting, comical tone, the language, and narration are still great and timeless.

Hank, a dog that believes he is the head of security on a dusty ranch, has many ridiculous adventures with colorful characters while he attempts to protect the ranch in his own often misguided or misunderstood ways. In this story, he tries to solve a chicken "murder" and catch those who raided the chicken coop, only stumble into more and more giggle inducing trouble as he does so.

Like an old Disney movie, Hank's audience is everyone of all ages with laughs for anyone who listens. A mom and pop are just as likely to burst out in a chuckle as the kids or the grandparents. A great way to entertain a family on a long drive. I speak from experience.

9 people found this helpful

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Why so edventoris I don't know

I love T..... H .....E.. .......B .....O .......O .....K.i give it 5🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.BY THE BOOK FOR KIDS and Parents. By

6 people found this helpful

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My 9yo son loved it

My son loved this book and asked immediately about a sequel. I found the music playing in the background of the narration to be distracting, but we got used to it.

3 people found this helpful

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Hank the Cowdog a great story

Me having grown up on a ranch in Southwest Texas and having dogs, cats, sheep & goats and chickens I feel very comfortable with Hank. Mr. Erickson tells the story of Hank from a personal perspective and I can relate to the predicaments that Hank gets himself into.

2 people found this helpful

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The best!

This is the ultimate!Even though it is the first in the series, it is extremely good.Keep on writing Mr.Erickson!

1 person found this helpful

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Another Perennial Favorite

Hank is falsely accused of the ultimate crime for a ranch dog -- chicken killing! Hank's adventures will intrigue pre-teens and entertain them even on a long trip across the wilds of Wyoming.

1 person found this helpful

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LOVE Hank and crew!

My family loves these rollicking adventure stories. Erickson is a genius at storytelling and performance.

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Later books are much better

This is the first book (out of 76 so far) in the series of Hank the Cowdog. My family has long been fans of Hank, who is also Head of Ranch Security. Hank is loveable, if a bit clueless, seeing his limited world through the eyes of a dog. These are children’s books, but adults will enjoy them just as much as children do. C. S. Lewis wrote, “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” By that definition, these are great children’s stories. Any child who has ever had a dog will enjoy Hank’s look at the world and will understand his rivalry with the cat. There is a lot of slapstick comedy that kids will enjoy as will adults and some that might go over the heads of younger children. In this book there is a series of murders (hens) that Hank tries to solve and when he is falsely accused he decides to run away and become an outlaw but ends up joining the coyotes until they decide to raid the ranch. 

However, this isn’t the best of the books. Maybe because it was his first or maybe because society has changed since 1980. I didn’t like the way that Coyotes were portrayed as the TV stereotypes of the “savage Indians” but I don’t see this in his later books.  And, there is some very adult wisdom as well (which he calls “an old piece of cowdog wisdom), “Never bite if you can bark, never bark if you can growl, never growl if you can talk, and never talk if you can run. In other words, when the odds are against you, the best fight is none at all.” And lately, it seems that we’ve been hearing a lot of barking. 

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Children’s noir

I remember reading a lot of Hank the Cowdog back when I was in third grade. Well over a decade now. As a kid loving in Tacoma, Washington, I knew next to nothing about ranch life. However a few of my closest friends at the time and I loved these books. We’d even replay as some of the characters and reenact scenes from the books as kids sometimes do.

Anyway, I saw some article about John R Erickson and it made think back on those days. So naturally I bought a few of the books to revisit. And, they hold up surprisingly well and are enjoyable to listen to as an adult even. In the simplest, most straightforward way, I think it’s best to just describe it as a gritty, but humorous, noir type detective book. There were quite a lot of things I didn’t pick up as a kid. It’s like going back and watching Shrek I guess.

Anyway, a bit on the pricey side all things considered, but an enjoyable romp down memory lane for me. Terrific narration by the author himself by the way.

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Took me back to my childhood.

I loved it! So did both of my 9 year old boys, my 8 year old daughter, and my 29 year old husband.