List of Hank the Cowdog characters
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- Hank the Cowdog - Hank the Cowdog is the narrator, main character and protagonist of the series. He lives on a ranch in the Texas Panhandle and is the self-proclaimed "Head of Ranch Security". Hank at times feels unappreciated and will abandon his role before ignoring his misgivings or fears and doing the right thing. Hank considers himself to be much braver, more handsome, and smarter than he really is, and thinks all female dogs are in love with him.
Hank refers to himself as a "top of the line, purebred, blue ribbon cowdog" but is in reality a mutt. He is overly self-confident, which gets him in trouble frequently. In the book illustrations Hank appears as a scruffy brown dog with long floppy ears, although the living dog the author based the character on was an Australian Shepherd.
- Drover - Also known as "the little mutt", Drover is Hank the Cowdog's assistant, and aids Hank in his role as ranch security. Drover frequently complains of having a bad leg, and will use this as an excuse when any danger becomes present, only to quickly run away when Hank is not looking. In reality Drover has admitted there is nothing wrong with his leg, and is thought of by Hank as being lazy and is often found sleeping on the job. Sometimes Drover also pretends to have other health problems in addition to his "bad" leg, such as allergies, heart problems, and "wounds" from being attacked by the various antagonists Hank forces him to oppose.
- Slim Chance - Slim Chance, the hired man on the ranch, is a bachelor, a "dirty bachelor," as Sally May says. He treats the two dogs well, sometimes letting them into his none-too-clean house on cold winter nights, although he enjoys playing practical jokes on Hank. Slim's lady friend is Miss Viola, whom Hank also adores.
- Pete - A barncat, Pete is Hank the Cowdog's main rival, with conflict between the two characters a usual occurrence in each story. Pete is thought of by Hank as "your typical dumb cat", however Hank is often manipulated by Pete. As Hank is the narrator of each story, Pete's plans and intentions are not always made clear until they bear fruition. In the cartoon, Pete was also voiced by Frank Welker.
- Rip and Snort, the Coyote Brothers - The Coyote Brothers live in the forests and canyons near the ranch and are a constant threat to it. They enjoy singing, fighting, and acting tough, however are not very intelligent. They are referred to as "cannibals" by Hank, who often tricks them out of their meals. Snort does the most talking, whilst Rip is the muscles of the pairing.
- Wallace and Junior, the Buzzards - Wallace, and his son Junior, are buzzards which appear at the ranch when Hank is away or when something has died or is in danger of dying. Wallace doesn't like Hank and would prefer him as his next meal, whereas his son considers Hank and his companions as his friends. Despite this Wallace always has good intentions in the care of Junior.
- Beulah - A beautiful brown eyed collie dog, Beulah lives on a ranch down the road from that of Hank's. Beulah is regarded by Hank as his one true love, and he often dreams of her. Whilst they are friends, unfortunately for Hank, Beulah loves Plato, who lives on the same ranch as her. In "Faded Love" Beulah informs Hank that she does love him, however due to him being a "hero", she doesn't want to be a hero's girlfriend because "they greet the dawn alone".
- Madame Moonshine - Madame Moonshine is an owl with psychic powers. Throughout the series she performs supernatural acts, though is prone to bungling them, such as sometimes being unable to reverse an act. Madame Moonshine has a very peculiar nature in that she claims she doesn't believe in witches, nor in dogs, so she refers to Hank as "Hank the rabbit".
- High Loper - The husband of Sally May and father of Little Alfred and baby Molly, High Loper is the owner of the ranch Hank lives on. High Loper prefers to be a ranch-man more than a manager, and does things the old cowboy way, using horses instead of mechanical equipment.
- Sally May - The wife of High Loper, Sally May is also the mother of their children, Little Alfred and Baby Molly. Sally May is the chief of the chicken coop, and manager of the vegetable and flower gardens. Her patience is frequently tested by Hank, who often makes her angry, which causes a rather icy relationship between them. When Sally May gets mad at Hank, she typically hits him over the head with her broom. Despite this she shows affection towards Hank when he saves her or does something heroic.
- Little Alfred - The son of Sally May and High Loper. Alfred shares a special communication with Hank, and seems to know what Hank wants. Hank is sworn by his sacred Cowdog Oath, "to protect and defend all innocent children against all manner of monsters and evil things", and this has led to Hank having to rescue Alfred on several occasions, most notably in Lost in the Dark Unchanted Forest.
- Plato - A bird dog, Plato is the love interest of Beulah. Plato is a cheerful character, however is greatly disliked by Hank due to Beulah's feelings for him. Plato's biggest interest is in hunting quail, which Hank sees as stupid and pointless.
Below is a list of minor characters who appear several times throughout the series:
- Ralph - Ralph is a basset hound with "the saddest, most mournful face you could imagine." Ralph currently lives in the dog pound with Jimmy Joe.
- Missy Coyote - Missy Coyote is the daughter of Chief Gut. Her full name is "Girl-Who-Drink-Blood"; however, Hank calls her "Missy Coyote" because of his dislike of her full name. Hank has a massive crush on her. She is the only girl/dog/coyote who has shown romantic feelings towards Hank.
- Rufus - Rufus is a Doberman Pinscher who lives on the same ranch as Beulah and Plato. He has a strong dislike of Hank and has gone into battle with him twice, but lost both times.
- Scraunch - Scraunch is the brother of Missy Coyote, and the son of Chief Gut. He is fierce, tough and merciless, and has clashed with Hank numerous times.
- Eddy The Raccoon - Eddy is a mischievous raccoon. His mother was run over during the night and he was run up a tree when Buster, Mugs and their gang of town thugs came back onto Hank's ranch. However, he always seems to get Hank into crazy deals, which enable Eddy to escape and leave Hank in a world of trouble.
- Buster & Muggs & Their Gang of Town Thugs - Four tough gangsters whom Hank hates, fears, and avoids. Muggs is the strongest of the four but extremely stupid. Buster appears to be the leader. The other two dogs' names are unknown, but they are as tough as Buster.
- J.T. Cluck - J.T. Cluck is the head rooster on the ranch and one of Hank's acquaintances. Although he is not too bright, J.T. often acts as Hank's informant when he reports strange behavior to him.
- Miss Viola - A human woman who lives not far from Slim's house. She is in love with Slim, but Hank is strangely in love with her despite her being a human. In The Big Question, Slim proposed to her with a lock washer ring.
Hank meets many friends and foes in the series who usually appeared in only one or two stories:
- Sinister (the bobcat) - Sinister lives in the dark unchanted forest, and is one of Hank's foes.
- Chief Gut: - Chief Gut is Missy Coyote's and Scraunch's father. His full name is "Many-Rabbit-Gut-Eat-In-Full-Moon."
- Benny - A Border Collie cowdog, Benny tries to take Hank's place. He is also shown to have romantic feelings towards Miss Scamper.
- Miss Scamper - A Beagle dog who visits the ranch with Benny. Hank possibly has a crush on her.
- Baxter- A rancher who lives down the creek from Hank's ranch and often helps Slim and Loper with the branding. He is Miss Scamper's owner.
- Mary D Cat - A cat said to be a vampire, who has been marooned for two years.
- Bruno - Bruno is a boxer dog whom Hank and Drover enjoy teasing.
- Bub - A monkey trained to steal.
- Willie - The owner of Bub.
- Timothy - A rattlesnake who is Madame Moonshine's bodyguard
- Tuerto - Tuerto is a one-eyed killer stud horse who broke Hank's leg.
- Rambo - Rambo is a Great Dane with an addiction for barking at cars, hence his nickname the "Car-Barkaholic".
- Brewster - Brewster is a huge German shepherd/St. Bernard dog known mostly to sleep and to cause accidents.
- Mama and Freddy - Two brown pelicans whom Hank thought were dinosaur birds.
- Frankie The Fox - Frankie is a fox that steals chicken eggs by playing his fiddle.
- Bruiser The Rottweiller - A Rottweiler that is really big and can thrash almost anything, however is afraid of cats.
- The Pasha of Shizzam - A monkey who fell off of a circus truck and became Hank's servant (which Hank abused severely). Later, Hank had a dream where the monkey's name was "The Pasha of Shizzam" and rebelled against him.
- Boris O'Bat - A near-sighted bat that Drover saved from drowning. Despite this the two don't get along very well, but Boris ultimately helps Drover find his home at Hank's ranch.
- Dink - Dink is a parrot who copies voices, causing trouble on the ranch.
- Momma - A temperamental feral hog sow with a litter of piglets that Hank encounters when searching for a lost Plato.
- Jimmy Joe- The town dogcatcher.
- Bobby Kile- The local deputy sheriff who enjoys playing practical jokes on Slim.