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When Joe and Flore Brancato move from Nevada to Los Angeles, their young son, Guy, is heartbroken because there is not enough room in the small family car for his huge pet dog, Pete. The animal is left behind with a somewhat unsavory neighbor, but Guy's parents promise that Pete will be sent for as soon as possible. The dog breaks away, however, tries to follow the car, and becomes lost. Guy blames his parents and becomes sullen and embittered; but the resourceful animal continues his 1,000-mile journey, hitchhiking rides and making progress despite bad weather, until eventually he arrives in Los Angeles. After creating a traffic jam, Pete is reunited with the overjoyed Guy.