In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, the protagonist Junior describes his life on the Spokane Indian Reservation. On the "rez," many people are stricken by poverty because they have few opportunities for employment. Junior's parents do not have steady work, and for much of the novel, Junior's father is unemployed. There are many nights when Junior goes to bed without having eaten dinner. In an effort to try to cope with these conditions, Junior's father turns to alcohol, and there are times when he spends what little money he has on liquor rather than on food. These difficulties are apparent from the beginning of the novel when Junior's dog gets sick and must be killed because the family cannot afford to get veterinary care for him.