Willie is a shy 8 year old growing up in Mississippi in the 1940's. He has no friends, gets bullied at school, and his dad (Kevin Bacon) is a very strict war veteran that has lost a leg. The only person that pays any attention to him is his neighbor Dink, the town's favorite son who is going off to fight in WWII.

For his 9th birthday, his mom (Diane Lane) buys Willie a dog.

Skip becomes the toast of the town, all the kids love him, the butcher gives him free meat, and suddenly, Willie has friends and even a girlfriend.

Dink returns from the war in disgrace. He wasn't scared to die, he was just too scared to kill anyone.

At the opening day of little league, Willie is having a bad game; Striking out and making lots of errors. Suddenly Skip appears and runs all over the field causing great havoc. A frustrated Willie, bends down and smacks him upside the head. Skips runs away and hides in a cemetery vault that is filled with a bootlegger's stash. The Bootlegger doesn't see him and accidentally traps him inside.

After the game, the whole town starts looking for Skip.

Dink and Willie figure out that Skip must be in the cemetery and just when they get there, the bootlegger is whacking Skip with a shovel for messing up his stash.

Dink and Willie rush him to the hospital.

Willie has an emotional "wake up champ" scene and Skip wakes up

At the end of the film, Willie is heading off to college and skip is an aging old dog with arthritis.

In a voice over narration, he tells us that Skip dies.