Based on a novel written in 1872, this charming tale of a young boy and his dog is leisurely and heart-warming. Nello (David Ladd) and his grandfather Daas (Donald Crisp) manage to make ends meet by delivering milk from the nearby farms to the city of Antwerp. Nello's most deeply felt ambition is to follow in the footsteps of the greatest Flemish artists but his grandfather has little faith in Nello's ability to make a living with brush and canvas. Inevitably, Daas passes away and Nello ekes out a living as they always did, accompanied by his cart dog. One day Nello and his canine friend meet Piet (Theodore Bikel), a reclusive artist whose muse has not been constant of late. The combination of young boy, talented artist, and loyal canine then begins to exert its own chemistry, to everyone's benefit.