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The worst thing about being poor is being helpless, and not being ablt to help those you love, such as not having the money to take care of your pets when they are sick.
Junior lives on a reservation. His family is poor, and they came from a poor family.
Junior comments that being hungry is not the worst thing about being poor, because eventually someone will come home with a bucket of chicken, and it tastes better if you have not eaten lately.
When his dog Oscar gets sick, the family does not have money to take him to the vet.
There was nothing I could do to save Oscar. (p. 10)
Being helpless, unable to save Oscar because his family had no money and he had no way to get any, Junior had to watch his best friend be killed. His father does not want to shoot the dog, but there is no other way. He can't even hate his parents for it, because he loves them and it is not their fault.
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