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Little Orvie Stone yearns for nothing in life as much as a dog, but his mother Clara values her furniture over her son's happiness, and forbids him to have a canine companion. In spite of the parental edict, Orvie adopts Tiger, a stray dog, for the day, but the pooch brings him nothing but problems when it retrieves a ball batted through neighbor Mrs. Welty's window by another boy and delivers it to Orvie. Orvie's troubles mount when his cousin Freddie throws a ball through a grocer's window and Tiger dutifully gives it to Orvie, who then returns home to be confronted by the angry neighbor, the grocer and his perplexed mother. Clara orders Orvie to take the dog to the pound. Orvie obeys, but when the pound attendant predicts that Tiger will be electrocuted, Orvie takes the dog back home and blackmails Corbina, the family cook, into keeping Tiger by threatening to expose her secret marriage to his disapproving mother. Having rid himself of Tiger, Orvie meets Patsy Balliser, who has four puppies to give away. After helping Patsy dispose of three of the pups, Orvie takes the last one, Ralphie, home with him and hides him in the basement. When the pup gets sick and Orvie finds a bottle of poison in the basement, however, he blames his parents for the dog's illness and decides to run away to a farm where he can have a dog. On the way, he stops to visit the Balliser house where he has left the ailing Ralphie, and Mrs. Balliser notifies the Stones, who gratefully retrieve their son and promise that he can have a dozen dogs if he wants. Their promise turns into prophesy when Orvie and Ralphie return home and Corbina returns Tiger, who has given birth to a litter of pups.