Misty, Togepi, and Brock are setting the table, getting ready for lunch. Eyes are staring out of the bushes as Ash and Pikachu walk out of the bushes with the water, but they suddenly disappear. When Brock and Misty ask about the bread they had entrusted to Ash, he remarks that it is in his backpack, which seems to have vanished remarkably. Ash is shocked and begins to look for it and they all wonder where it went. Brock then spots footprints in the ground and they all follow them. In the town, a Nurse Joy and her Chansey are walking with groceries, when an ice cream truck pulls up. They set the groceries down to go and get some ice cream as Team Rocket appears and look down at the food. Wobbuffet pops out of its Poké Ball and they decide to lower Meowth down on a fishing pole. Meowth pulls out the ham and Team Rocket runs off. Jessie, James and Meowth are excitedly looking at the ham as red eyes appear in the bushes ominously. They begin to fight over the ham when it rolls away and then seems to disappear. Meowth blames Wobbuffet for eating the ham as Wobbuffet protests that it did not eat it. Just then Nurse Joy appears around the corner and Team Rocket has to hide in an alleyway while Joy checks out the empty ham bag. Ash and company show up asking if Nurse Joy has a problem with which they can help, and discover that she has been stolen from as well. Misty expresses her suspicion (which happens to be correct) that Team Rocket is to blame for the nurse's lack of ham, but Joy didn't see who the culprit was. Noticing more of the same footprints, the three Trainers run off to find the mystery thief and Joy wishes them luck and stays behind. In the alley Team Rocket plans to follow the "twerps" and outthieve the secret Pokémon. After chasing behind the unknown Pokémon through the woods to the tracks' end, Brock states that this particular spot has good wind direction and decides to camp here. After cooking some sausages - one of which happens to be made of wood - the gang place their decoy on a plate and waits for the Pokémon to be drawn by the scent, when The wood sausage is whisked away by a black shadow. Misty is distressed because it escaped their grasp and it is too dark to find it again, but Brock says that since it has fake food, it must return for the real thing if it is hungry. Ash, Brock, and Misty wait patiently but fearfully for the return of the yet unknown Pokémon and eventually the scary red eyes appear in the bushes once again. At a taunt from Ash, several black dog Pokémon walk out of the bushes, one of which angrily holds the decoy in its menacing jaws. After Ash's Pokédex reveals the Pokémon to be a pack of Houndour, Brock remarks that the decoy was a bad idea, and Ash notices the Alpha Houndour on a cliff above them. Ash is determined to get his backpack and he and Brock battle the Houndour while Misty gets only Psyduck. After a tough battle the four Houndour back off and the leader jumps down to challenge Ash and Pikachu. The two Pokémon have a Leer stare down until Houndour uses its fire and Pikachu darts around it with Quick Attack and strikes back with Thunder. The pack uses Smog to escape and the trio chase after. Meanwhile, a Golem comes down into an area on below another cliff and tries to attack a wounded member of the pack there. The pack appears to protect their friend but their fire is ineffective on the tough Golem. Ash, Misty, and Brock show up and notice their belongings and that the Houndour only wanted to feed the sick member. Assessing the situation, Ash jumps in the way to protect the leader who was about to be knocked out by Golem. The three Trainers realize that the wounded Houndour must get to a Pokémon Center, and Ash is adamant that he can carry it all the way there. At this point, Team Rocket finally catches up and recites their motto to ruin the fun, but the pack defeats them quickly while Ash and co. head on their way. Despite Ash's burden with the Pokémon, Misty and Brock lose stamina first, but Ash falls and the pack leader shows up to carry the wounded Houndour. At the Center, Nurse Joy rushes the Pokémon to emergency and eventually returns stating that it will be fine. Team Rocket (having not been blasted off) join the party with their balloon and steal most of the Houndour, but the pack leader jumped up and burnt the net rope, freeing its friends, and Pikachu leapt up with a Thunderbolt to send the Team off. Ash and friends walk into the sunset after a cheerful goodbye and Team Rocket ends up stuck on another cliff hanging from a branch.