Archie Weller: THE DAY OF THE DOG
The story takes place in Perth in Australia, where a young 19-year-old Aboriginal man,
named Doug Dooligan comes out of prison after eighteen long and lonely months. He has
been put behind bars because of a brawl. Now he is celebrating his freedom and getting drunk
to forget those horrible nights on lumpy beds in the overcrowded cells. In prison there is no
privacy, no peace, nowhere to dream by yourself, that is what he missed most of all.
Suddenly he meets two of his best mates in the past: Sylvester Jackson and Floyd Davey.
They are getting drunk together, although Doug has promised himself, that he will never go
back to them and be a “street-person”, because he doesn’t want to live from stealing cars or
other things like and to come in a brawl and so in jail again. So the two’s girlfriends Valerie
and Rebecca come with Valerie’s sister and Rebecca’s cousin Polly. After talking and
drinking Doug and Polly get together. Polly isn’t even fifteen years old and “on the run” from
the Community Welfare Department. After sleeping in Valerie’s flat, where all of them live,
Doug goes to visit his mother.
She welcomes him happily, although she knows that he has been out since the day before and
he has spend his first day with these drinking and stealing streetboys..
She hasn’t had a good life. It has begun happily: he has married Doug’s father Carey and they
have had a nice farm. But then Carey always has got drunk and they have had to sell the farm
and to move to city. At that time Doug has been twelve years old. One day Doug’s father
hasn’t come home. And she has had to care about three children: Tom, Jemina and Doug.
Tom has died during the Vietnam war, Doug has put into prison and Jemina has got a nice
family and a little farm.
For a week Doug hangs around the house, watching TV, reading comics and listening to
music. On Friday he goes to see Mr. Salvadorez, his parole officer. After that he meets his
friends and gets drunk again.
When he arrives at Valerie’s flat, he sees Silver lying in bed with Polly. Angrily he attacks
him with a knife, but Floyd calms him down and warns Silver with a death threat, if he will do
something like that again.
So the spend a nice weekend together. Silver apologise for his fault and Floyd tells Doug that
he will get a baby from Valerie. On Sunday evening Doug goes back to his mother, who tells
him that she has find a job for him in a horsestable. After working the whole week, he goes to
Valerie and Polly. There he hears that there was a quarrel between Floyd and Valerie. So he
decides to make a nice evening for the two girls, after such a horrible day, because for his
work at the stable he has got a lot of money. When they decide to go home, they meet Doug’s
exgirlfriend Jenny. So a big fight begins, because Jenny is a member of the Nuclear clan- the
enemy of Floyd and his friends, but nobody is hurt hardly.
Next day Floyd comes to pick up Doug from his mother’s house, because it is Floyd`s last day
in Perth. After a long and funny drinking night Doug and Polly wake up in Floyd`s car by two
police men. They arrest Doug, because they think he has stolen the car, which Floyd has
stolen in reality.
But he gets out soon and now he wants to have a normally life: working and living at his
mother’s house together with Polly.
But one day he meets one of his cousins, who tell him that he could see his father, who has
escaped from prison.
So he and Polly go to see his father, but they make Doug stealing a car to flee. The police
catch up with them and only Doug can escape.
A few days later the Community Welfare Department catches Polly and Doug loses his job.
Without any hope he goes to his sisters farm to work there. That would be good for him,