Old doggers

Old doggers they were called, men that wandered the outback looking for dingoes, catching them selling their pelts. They were part of our folk lore. Part of a sheep graziers life. People might think this is mean but the old doggers were part of Australian folklore .



Check out the links and find your own opinion. This was a way swagmen, (hobo’s) made some money during the depression



He  was a dogger, a crusty old man,
He lived on his own, wandering over the land,
His home was his truck, for he carried in there
All the things that he needed, he hadn’t a care.
A friend to the grazier, he was there to keep
The dingo from killing the outbacker’s sheep
He never had learned how to read or to write,
But he knew about tracks and he’d follow all night.
There wasn’t a place that he could call home,
But he met many people and he did like to roam.
He knew all the signs and could tell at a glance
If the drought would continue, if there was a chance
Of a storm that would settle the fine choking dust,
And all those who knew him his knowledge they did trust
Sometimes he would visit a town that was close,
And he’d tell that he really just needed a dose
Of the medicine sold by the publican there
For lately he’d felt like a wounded old bear.
He’d stay in the town for quite a few days,
And most of the time he’d walk round in a haze
It was at this time when the whiskey was done,
That he’d sit near the fire and tell to everyone
The stories and tales of his life on the track,
How he’d chased many dingoes through the rugged outback
His tales seemed to be filled with plenty of gore,
But his listeners would hear them and clamour for more.
The townsfolk declare that inside he must have a chime
That buzzed to tell him when it was time
For him to pack up, to follow the sun,
That his time for relaxing was over and done,
And he would return to his truck and to the track

following the lead wherever it may wander.


2 thoughts on “Old doggers

  1. Well BJ you`ve captured the occasion again, an era nearly forgotten but thanks to you brought back to life . Yes they were important people for the ecology like the Rabbiters who sold pelts and meat . Your poetry makes the characters come alive , thanks !



    • Thank you Ron, yes I thought about it this morning, and wondered why I did not add the Rabbitiers. I have met many during my childhood and the times I spent in the bush with my father and searching out the rabbits. These men knew every track every rut in the trails. A time of innocence lost in this world today


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