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This film works on three levels; it is a boy and his dog story, a story of a boy's coming of age and a story of the relationship between the boy and his stepfather. The standout performances here are Ron Howard as Chris, a boy struggling to cope with the loss of his father; and Earl Holliman as Cal, the stepfather who wants badly to be accepted by Chris. Shug Fisher and Jacqueline Scott also are quite good, as is the dog star.  Ron howard plays a troubled young boy who can't accept the death of his father or the existence of his new stepfather. After finding a sick german shephard and nursing it back to health, he is faced with another emotional trauma when the dog's owner appears.  There are some excellent scenes in this film, and the story will move you. This one will stay with you long after it is over.

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