Claire Lambone is a spunky eleven year old who is infatuated with the idea of creating a sanctuary for homeless dogs in repayment for being rescued by one when she was just two years of age. She gains new knowledge and experience as she encounters different scenarios. Whether it's her family's discouragement, a feisty bull dubbed Volcano, a dog-hating chef, a bumbling but kind vet, or a strict lawyer, Clairie lets nothing stop her. Along the way, she rescues a sweet mutt named Thelma who would otherwise be destined to a dreary fate. A bubbly Chihuahua mix, a fiery kitten, a gentle Great Dane, a tiny poodle, and other animals give Clairie encouragement. The local vet's sons, Charlie and Stanley Morrison, provide laughter and friendship. Aided by dreams and friends, old and new, Claire proves that a gracious smile, an open mind, and dogged-determination are enough to succeed in any adventure.