Alice has stormed out of her marriage and left Los Angeles to return to Canada. She has a Van and her dog and makes it to Southern Arizona. While free-camping there, the fireworks frighten her dog, Sassy, who runs off into the Arizona Night.
We meet Alice while she is handing out fliers and waiting for the Southern Arizona Animal Shelter to open.
While waiting outside, she meets an old woman whose only companion is a dog.
The Animal shelter opens and Alice has no choice but to help the old lady deal with the gruff Animal shelter volunteer. Meanwhile, a motorcycle-wannabe tough guy butts in front of the ladies so he can adopt a dog he saw on Instagram. Alice thinks he is going to be the typical tough guy who wants a tough dog but she’s wrong. He is actually trying to adopt an elderly sick poodle.
Alice gives the guy some helpful advice and the guy adopts his dog.
“If your girlfriend was right, I think you need to find that sissy-hearted girl-baby within and let her shine!”
Finally able to talk to the Animal Shelter volunteer, Alice reports her dog missing to the hard-nosed woman who clearly judges her for losing her dog and isn’t as helpful as Alice would like.
The Manager is called. While Alice is waiting, she catches us up on how she came to get Sassy. It turns out her husband did not want a dog. Sassy is Alice’s first dog.
When she volunteered at an animal shelter in L.A. walking dogs she meets a dog named Bella – a food-aggressive, child-aggressive border collie-like dog.
When Bella is slated to be euthanized, Alice wants to foster her but her husband is against the idea. Despite this, Alice applies to foster Bella but is denied. Bella is too dangerous. Alice steals Bella and doesn’t tell her husband.
Now she has an aggressive dog she needs to train and find a home for. Her husband, knowing it is inevitable, suggests they make Bella official and they change her name to Sassy.
Alice tries to train her dog, first with good citizenship training, then hardcore German inspired training, and then with a Cesar Milan approach.
Cesar Milan proves to be miraculously helpful and also teaches her something about herself.
“Know what I want, believe what I want, and have the conviction to get what I want. And tahdah; Dog Whisperer.“
The Manager returns and tells her he knows that she stole Bella (now Sassy) and that because she was a dangerous dog, they have no choice but to euthanize Sassy for legal and liability issues.
Alice leaves a dispairing message for her husband for which the Animal Shelter volunteer (Aggie) ridicules her. It turns out that despite her gruff exterior, Aggie is a softy. Aggie gives Alice shit while also promising to help her get her dog back. Aggie urges Alice to understand that being worthy of a dog isn’t the point, no one is worthy of a dog, she tells Alice that we’re not here to rescue dogs, dogs are here to rescue us.
“Newsflash, dogs aren’t here for us to help them. They are here purely as a favor. And me? I am not actually helping rescue dogs, I’m helping dogs rescue people.“