The show opens with John (William Windom) laying atop a cartoon doghouse, a la Snoopy. He has written a story for his magazine about a vicious childhood dog he had named Muggs in a way that makes his family feel that he is heartless toward dogs. The family's ailing dog Cristabel is believed to be very sick in the middle of the night and John and his wife Ellen (Joan Hotchkis) rush to the veterinarian (composer Frank De Vol- "The Brady Bunch"). He says the dogs seems fine and is simply getting older with a gleam in its eyes. This has been an arguing point for the couple, and on their way home John gets out onto the grass on all fours in front of the headlights to prove it isn't simply the light. A police officer (series producer/writer Danny Arnold) thinks he is inebriated at first, but ends up doing the same behavior in discussing the issue with John and Ellen. John continually thwarts his daughter Lydia's (Lisa Gerritsen) plea to take her friend's puppy from a litter. Ellen takes Cristabel back to the vet and returns with solemn news that prompts John to view things differently.
This is a well-written, feeling episode that on the whole is more dramatically inclined than funny.
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