Crackers' story now told by audiobook

Kamloops Daily News
January 10, 2014 01:00 AM

Dennis Robertson shows his story, published in a 1997 edition of The Daily News. He is pictured with his hearing assistance dog Crackers.

The true story of Dennis Robertson and his hearing-assist dog Crackers is being told once more, this time with a very familiar voice.

Robertson, who first told his story to The Daily News in 1997, recruited cowboy broadcaster Hugh McLennan to read the audio version of his 2013 book Crackers . . . Come Hear.

The book, which shares the 14-year adventure Robertson shared with the first hearing-assist dog in Canada, sold 500 copies.

People enjoy the memoir, so Robertson and McLennan thought the story deserved to be translated into spoken word.

"So he and I turned it into an audiobook," Robertson said Thursday.

Copies of the just-released, eight-CD set are found at McLennan reads the bulk of the story, with Robertson contributing to a memoir about some of the people mentioned in the book who have since died.

"Not about the dog, I had a bit of trouble with that one, but I could talk about the people with some emotion," he said.

McLennan and Robertson are long-time friends, and talked about doing an audiobook soon after the printed volume was finished.

As host of the radio program The Spirit of the West, McLennan thought he was well prepared to read Crackers' story out loud. He said the task was more of a challenge than he thought.

"I could read about two pages before I started stumbling over my words," said McLennan.

The book is a touching one, with several anecdotes about how Crackers opened Robertson to the world of the hearing. McLennan said the dog also saved his companion's life on more than one occasion because he could hear hazards Robertson couldn't.

Crackers and his master became well known to residents, businesses, schools and organizations.

"There's story after story," he said.

Robertson appreciates how well received Crackers' story has been, he said. Both the print and audio versions are a made-in-Kamloops affair.

© Copyright 2015 Kamloops Daily News

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