Thursday, December 03, 2009

Hank the Cowdog, Birthday Parties, Daughters of Texas, and Other Things Carrie Periodically Makes Exceptions For

Yeah, yeah, people have guest posters all the time. But I bet this is the first guest post that you've read that has been given by a dog. What's that? Yes, you heard correctly. Meet Angus, the owner of my brother, sister-in-law and young Buckaroo (my nephew). He's here to talk about one of his heroes, Hank the Cowdog. Specifically, he's here to talk about The Case of the One-eyed Killer Stud Horse

This book is dedicated to all the farm and ranch wives who have to put up with noisy kids, ornery husbands, and sorry dogs.”

It's me again, Angus the Ranch Dog. I live in the middle of Nowhere, Texas on a little spread of about 10 acres. Around here, Cowboy, Cowgirl and I raise horses, kids (also know as little Buckaroos), and the occasional vegetable. (Truth be told, I do most of the work around here... It's just more polite to give the people a little credit.) There's a whole heard of cows who live across the way from us, and while I am the friendly sort, I think those 'ole boys are rather afraid of me – it must be my terrifying bark that frightens them.

Anyway, I'm here to tell you about an all time great, a true Texas Legend: Hank the Cowdog. Hank is Head of Ranch Security on his place, and he does quite a job protecting it from villains, coyotes, intruders, and cats. He's even taught me a thing or two. (Which is saying something) Hank lives on a big ranch in the Texas pan-handle, with High Loper, Sally-May, Little Alfred, Slim Chance the cowboy, Pete the Barncat, and Hank's personal assistant Drover, who just happens to be a rather chicken-hearted-little-mutt. Hank's work is never done. He seems to be everywhere - barking up the sun in the morning, guarding the mailbox from the Mailman, out foxing Pete for table scraps, bathing in the over flow of the septic tank (giving him that nice manly aroma), and going on midnight patrols. One of the most exciting incidents Hank investigated was, 'The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse”! Sounds pretty exciting huh? You bet it is!

It all starts the day before Thanksgiving. Sally-May's kin folk are coming to the ranch for the holiday. Hank should have know the day was not going to go well when Loper discovered a crazed, one-eyed killer stud horse in one of the pastures!...But I am getting ahead of myself. The day started as any other day on the ranch would. Hank and Drover had put in a full night's work and were catching up on some much needed rest when Loper and Sally-May came out of the house to talk over the day's work and bring out the breakfast scraps. Through a dramatic series events Hank learns about the Killer Stud horse that broke through their fence, which is now roaming loose somewhere on the ranch. During his breakfast though, Hank somehow manages to contract Deadly-Bacon-Grease-Poisoning (Gluttony doesn't pay, kids.) At the same time Little Alfred uses Pete to plow up his mother's garden, Sally-May winds up with a twisted ankle...and somehow Hank gets the blame!! (We ranch dogs are so misunderstood.)

Join Hank and Drover on this hilarious adventure as they try to patch things up with Sally-May, protecting her kin from danger and saving the ranch from the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse when he comes into the home pasture!!!

Hank the Cowdog is sure to delight children and adults of all ages! Mr. Erickson provides fabulous insights in to the dramatic life, dashing deeds, and keen intellect of ranches dog such as Hank (and myself). Of course if someone had just asked ME I could have told them all about what we ranch dogs think. Hurrump!


My brother and I were raised on good ol' Hank the Cowdog (and I am going to studiously ignore the fact that a 20th Anniversary copy of the book is now available). In fact, I even have a signed first edition, which makes me the coolest book blogger you know, I'm sure! Hank is hilarious! He's clean, good ranch dog fun and if you haven't yet had the opportunity to meet him, make the time to do so. Better yet, (and this is the one and only time I really make exceptions for audio versions), pick up the audio version in John R. Erickson himself makes the whole cast of Hank come to life in a way that will have you chuckling, giggling and laughing out loud. You do NOT have to be from Texas to enjoy these books. You just have to have a dry sense of humor. Hank is a hoot and I couldn't recommend him more highly to anyone aged 7 and up. (You do have to be old enough to appreciate the wit, I think.)

As much as I have appreciated Hank over the years, my brother has been a little more enthusiastic and got my sister-in-law on the bandwagon also. They went so far as to have a Hank the Cowdog themed First Birthday party for my nephew, the Buckaroo. If you are remotely familiar with Hank, you'll be impressed by a few of these details:

First, meet Buckaroo, the birthday boy:

This is the cake Jennifer, my SIL, made with her mother:

You might recognize Emerald Pond in this jello concoction (which I thought was a pretty cool idea):

They also played Pin the Tail on Pete the Barn Cat which is every Ranch Dog's dream game to play!

Lastly, Jennifer had picked up a little stuffed Hank for Buckaroo. This is a picture I snatched of my parent's cat staring Hank down:

Hank is loveable. Hank is likeable. Hank is hysterical. If you'd like to learn more about him, please dash off to the Hank the Cowdog website.

But before you run away, check out The Daughters of Texas which is a new business my SIL, Jennifer, has started up with her sisters. They created western-themed items, including things like this bib:

(And yes, she is well aware of the fact that I'm not a big Texas fan and it's ok that I'm not all ga ga about Texas. Mostly.)

If you'd like to order anything from the Daughters of Texas, you can get free shipping by mentioning Reading to Know in your order. To receive this special offer, you would need to place your order by December 25, 2009. (That gives you a whole month to take advantage of the offer!)

Needless to say, they are crazy about Texas and if you like western wear, the idea of having a special baby quilt made for a young one in your life, or having little Texas dancing shoes crafted for small feet, check out what The Daughters of Texas have to offer. They are pretty creative when it comes to their love affair of that big state. (heh, heh - let's hear it for Oregon!)

In the meantime, enjoy your books, be creative, clever and crafy.... and make time for a new friend in Hank.


Marks of Faith said...

How 'Bout Them TEXAS Cowgirls!!!???!!!

I'm tipping my hat to TEXAS!

To Hank the Cowdog!!! (Love him!!!)

And to Cowboys, Cowgirls, & Buckaroo of all ages!!!

And to anything TEXAS!!! : )

We love Hank the Cowdog and grew up listening to him on family road trips! Hank is so witty...or such a dumb dog...that his antics always kept our family of 7 in stitches. Road trips were a blast and helped to pass the time quickly! I cannot recommend Hank highly enough! Hank is also fun to read...but for the group experience, I place my vote with Carrie's...get the tapes/CDs!!!

A 100% Texan

P.S. Here's my token nod to Oregon for having the coolest book-blogger on the web! : ) Thanks for the post!

Barbara H. said...

We never read Hank -- I wish I had known about them when my guys were younger. I think the books would have only been around for my youngest one, though.

I love the way the party theme worked out, and i really love the photo of the cat and Hank!

Stephanie Kay said...

I've never heard of these! I'll have to see if our library has them. :)

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I give Hank an enthusiastic two thumbs up, too! :-)

Love the cake! :-)

Hull.Margaret said...

What a cute post..I am a cat person myself, but really enjoyed reading this.

Carrie said...

See, I didn't even realize that you, Jennifer, had also grown up with Hank. Which make your children both hopelessly Texan forever. ;D (Not that you mind, I do realize.) And I do not begrudge any nieces or nephews a love of Hank. I WILL promote THAT!

Lauren said...

The post was hilarious - and all Hank. Great job Jen, with the review and the party...

I suppose it would not be appropriate to give a hurrah for Oregon after such a Texas themed post, but, I can't help it! As far as scenery, beauty, and weather, Oregon has NO comparison. Other than that Texas takes the titles - my main bone to pick with her are the lack of white Christmases she provides her citizens....

Oh and Angus and Buckaroo are adorable of course.

Marks of Faith said...

Yes Carrie, we are HOPELESSLY in LOVE with Texas...we took Buckaroo on his first trip to visit the Alamo not too long ago...he was IMPRESSED! (For an 18 month old!) : )

Lauren...sigh...Texas did give us a white Christmas in 2004...all I can say is separation makes the heart grow fond! : )

Loving learning at Home said...

What a great review. We love Hank the Cowdog also. My whole family love to listen to him in the car. He is hilarious. Thanks for bringing this post to my attention. It brightened my day! Love your birthday ideas too. Tell your mother-in-law great cake! I have made birthday cakes for my kids and it is not easy (or fun :) )

Amy DM said...

Hank the Cowdog accompanied us on many a road trip.

I've just subscribed to your blog. Your site seems like a really fun place to read. ;)

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