Continuing on their journey to Olivine City, Ash, Misty and Brock find themselves walking along a canyon bottom with unstable boulders above them. All of a sudden, a gust of wind knocks the boulders loose and they are trapped... until a pack of Arcanine comes and rescues the gang.
They learn that the Arcanine pack belongs to two people named Ramona and Keegan. After some brief intoductions, ash is amazed because he has never seen an arcanine close up before. He then uses Dexter (his pokedex) to get more info on it. He finds out that a growlithe can only become an arcanine by use of a firestone. Ash tells keegan how he got ahold of a firestone. Keegan tells ash that he has a whole bunch of them at this moment and shows them to ash. Ash is amazed by how many he has and Misty wonders how he got ahold of so many. Keegan tells misty that the firestones are not his, but that they are prizes to be given away at a fire-pokemon competition to be held later on.
Ramona tells the gang that they are a courier service that uses the Arcanine to travel from place to place delivering cargo. Ramona then graciously asks Ash and friends if they want to take them using their arcanine. Ash and gang are excited and immediately say "sure". After traveling for awhile, Ramona, Keegan, ash and friends stop at a clearing in the forest to rest. Everybody enjoys a little bit of refreshments except Keegan and ash who are grooming the Arcanine. Ash is talking to Keegan stating that it is fun to ride Arcanine but it is probably more fun when you are ridding by yourself. Keegan then suggests to ash if he would like to ride arcanine by himself. Ash, eager as always, gives it a go. After a rocky start, ash gets the hang of riding arcanine, that is until he gets knocked off at the end of the lesson. The ever optomistic ash, tells everybody that all he needs is practice and he will be as good as Keegan is...
All of a sudden, the hear a noise in the sky. They look up and see a rocket heading straight for them. Everybody scatters and it lands really close to where they were standing. Then what pops out of the rocket, is a rubber hand that graps the firestones. They all wonder who is taking them. The familiar motto of team rocket is heard and Ash and friends realize is none other than Jesse and James. Ash commands pikachu to stop team rocket from stealing the firestones but Meowth grabs pikachu with the same rubber hand which prevents pikachu from using his special attacks. Keegan then commands one of the arcanine to free pikachu and does it. Keegan than commands all of the arcanine to attack team rocket. After a miss attempt, team rocket get away in a bicycle built for 3. Ramona tells Keegan if he is ready to follow team rocket to get back the stones and he agrees. They catch up to team rocket very quickly and after a quick move by jesse, Ramona, Keegan and the arcanine pass up team rocket and fall into a hole predug by jesse and james. Ash and friends catch up to ramona and keegan to see if they are alright while team rocket slips away.
Brock now uses golbat to see if he can find out where team rocket might have went to. Goldbat leads them to a fork in the road where apparently team rocket has split up. So, reluctantly, they split up as well to see if they can find which one of the three have the firestones. The first group consisting of Brock, misty and ramona see a tree stump with a bag on it which looks like the bag of firestones. They come closer and fall into a hole dug by james, who comes out and taunts them. The second team consisting of Ash and Keegan find jesse escaping on a unicycle trying to out run them. They follow her through some bushes and end up on a pokemon battlefield. Jesse, on the other side of the field, tells ash and keegan that if they want the firestones back (which she seems to be holding), they have to fight her in a pokemon battle. Keegan tells her that the fighting for the stones is useless because he himself does not own the stones to begin with. Ashe tells keegan not to worry because he has fought her countless times before and she never wins so he feels confident enough to beat her. Jesse releases arbok and ash uses Pikachu. After a short and victorious battle by pikachu, jesse acknowledges ash's win and throws the bag in the middle of the battlefield. Ash, keegan and arcanine run to the middle of the field and fall into a hole that jesse predug.
At the bottom of the hole, Keegan appears to have sustained a broken arm and while ash is asking if keegan is alright, jesse graps pikachu with the same rubber hand as before and places pikachu in a special little cage. Meanwhile, Meowth (far away from the action) wonders why the real firestones (which he had to begin with) are not hot. He also wonders what has happened to jesse and james because they are taking so long. All of a sudden, they appear before meowth with pikachu. Suprised, meowth tells jesse and james that they better get their new found prizes to their boss so they can get the recognition. So, they take off happy that one of their schemes actually worked.
As night approaches, ash finally gets out of the hole that was dug and suggests to keegan that they find team rocket immediately. Keegan informs ash that they better find them in a hurry because the competition that needs the firestones needs them by tomorrow. So, they take off looking but before they go, keegan's arm starts acting up and gives him some pain. Ash suggests that he leads arcanine to look for team rocket. Keegan agrees and they take off. As they are ridding, ash is still trying to learn how to ride arcanine so he makes arcanine ride straight through some trees, collaping them. Keegan tells ash that he needs to treat arcanine like they are together as one. Ash recalls that, that is how pikachu and him are so he concentrates trying to bond with arcanine on an emotional level and succeeds. With his new found feelings for arcanine, ash has the confidence to ride arcanine to find the stones. Night falls, and they have stopped at a clearing on a foothill. Arcanine sniffs around trying to find pikachu's scent. Arcanine finds it and off they go to find pikachu and team rocket. Meanwhile, in a clearing in the woods, team rocket is enjoying a victory meal (apparently a huge meal). James is worried about how much money they had to borrow to pay for the meal. But Jesse reassures him that they can sell the firestones and make a fortune to recooperate all the money the borrowed. Then meowth chimes in a remark about how the boss will give them promotions because they finally captured pikachu. So, they dig right into their dinner.
About this time, Brock and his group make it out of his hole with the help of onix. He hears an arcanine in the background and asks onix to follow the sound and they are off. Ash and keegan get really close and finally find team rocket who is relaxing after chowing down their huge dinner. Ash and keegan tell team rocket to surrender the stones and after they say no, keegan tells arcanine to attack. Jesse, pushing wubbuffet in the way of the attacking arcanine, hides behind some bushes. Wubbuffet uses reflect to counter the attack of arcanine. While wubbuffet is keeping busy, team rocket uses this chance to escape in their traditonal hot air ballon with pikachu and the firestones. Right about now, brock and his group join ash. Ramona tells her arcanine to use their firespin attack to bring down team rocket. The arcanine use onix as a ramp to jump up to the ballon and set it on fire, forcing team rocket down to the ground. Ash cathes pikachu and brock catches the firestones while team rocket hits the ground hard. Jesse, still determined to be victorious, releases arbok to get even but keegan steps in and uses his arcanine to take care of arbok with take down attack. Arbok hits team rocket and frightened, tired and defeated team rocket are running away. Keegan points out that team rocket are escaping. Ash, determined to make an example out of team rocket, chases them down with the arcanine he has bonded with. He carries pikachu on his shoulder while riding arcanine to catch team rocket. He passes team rocket up but while he passed them up, pikachu got off and was right in the path of team rocket. Ashs commanded pikachu to use thunderbolt attack on team rocket and after a prolonged exposure to electricity, the spot where they were standing exploded and team rocket "blasted off again..."
Brock was amazed how ash could have trained arcanine so well to follow his orders. Misty suggested it was beginners luck. Ramona interrupts and asks keegan that they better get the firestones to the competition before it is too late, as day breaks. They make it to the competition grounds and hands the firestones to the director. After telling them that he thought they were not going to make it in time, keegan looks at ask and his crew and suggested that he wouldn't have made it without help from friends. As the midday approaches, keegan and ramona thank ash and friends for all the help and ash bids farewell to his new found friends and continues his journey to Olivine city and his next adventure.