This is the story of a girl, her dog, and a man who needs to regain his self-reliance. Curtis Peterson, a strong, vital man in his late twenties, and his wife Marie want to start a family. Tragedy strikes when Curtis is paralyzed in a construction accident. Meanwhile, another family welcomes an addition to its household. Teenager Steve Barnett adopts an 8 week old puppy to train as part of a church project. The Barnett family is to house-train Banner for a year. Then the dog would be returned to the Kansas Specialty Dog Service, where it will be trained to assist the disabled and visually impaired. Steve's sister, 8 year old Emily, ends up taking care of Banner, and falls in love with the dog. Her happiness is offset by the tragic circumstances affecting Curtis and Marie. When Marie takes a job as a waitress to support the family, Curtis is left to sit at home alone, wallowing in self pity.