With knowing perception, a prolific author of juveniles tells the story of a boy, his poodle and a redeeming triumph. Far from the familiar surroundings of Cape Cod, somewhat repressed by an automobile accident, Joey's pet poodle, Clown Dog, seemed drained of all vim and vigor. But Joey is determined to prove his animal's worth despite the jeers of his new companions. To no avail he coaxes the animal to perform stunts for the forthcoming Labor Day circus, but alas, perhaps Clown Dog really is descended from a ""bath mat"". Then one day, the two take a walk in the surrounding Connecticut woods and, like a reborn creature, Clown Dog responds with sudden alertness to the cries of another animal lost somewhere in the woods. With difficulty, he leads Joey to the wounded fawn and its dead mother, saving a life and winning heroic status for himself and his proud master.