When Nick's mother moves into a new apartment complex that doesn't allow animals, he is given custody of his boyhood dog Scrapper. Although the lovable pooch is quite old, he's still playful and manages to completely charm the Keatons.
However, a short time later, Scrapper is hit by a car. After rushing the dog to the vet, Nick tries to be very positive about his condition, stating that this sort of thing has happened before and Scrapper is sure to be okay. But Dr. Austin informs a stunned Nick that Scrapper is severely injured and suggests that the dog be put to sleep. Nick won't hear of it instead, he insists that the vet operate on Scrapper and do anything he can to save him.
Meanwhile, Steven tries to arrange an elaborate birthday party for Andy, but the family is too worried about Scrapper to pay attention. Finally, even the birthday boy himself announces that he'd rather not have a party.
Everyone waits for news from the vet, who finishes operating on Scrapper and tells Nick that keeping the suffering animal alive any longer would be unfair. Accepting Dr. Austin's advice, Nick bids a tearful farewell to his old friend, accompanied by Mallory and an unusually emotional Alex. Later, at Andy's birthday party, everyone sits around glumly until Andy gets what he really wants - the chance to give Nick a gift that will cheer him up.