Norman is an alcoholic and unsuccessful inept party clown that goes by the name "Happy Slappy". Snively knows nothing about the dog and only using him to boost his own fame, abusing him as well. While at one particular birthday party, Buddy accidentally hits Norman in the face with a ball while attempting to get it inside of a hoop that Norman formed with his arms, causing trouble at the party while Norman chases him around in anger. The mother of the child threw Norman out, and Norman puts Buddy in a kennel, planning to take him to the pound for ruining his chance at success, but Buddy, unbeknownst to Norman, fell out of Norman's truck due to the bumpy roads.
Norman manages to find Buddy after watching the news while eating dinner and seeing a report on the news when Buddy begins to gain fame for his basketball skills. Norman visits the Framm home and convinces Josh's mother, Jackie, that he is the dog's owner and wants "Old Blue" (Buddy's original name under Snively's ownership) back. Josh sneaks over to Snively's house and frees Buddy as Snively notices and gives chase in his clown truck but the two manage to escape as Snively crashes into a lake. Snively returns at the Timberwolves championship game, which they win and although seeming to appreciate Buddy's skills, Snively sues the Framms for custody of Buddy. Coach Arthur Chaney shows up at the courthouse and convinces Judge Cranfield (who is a fan of Chaney from his days as a New York Knicks player) that because Buddy is legally an adult in dog years, he should choose who he wants to be his rightful owner. Cranfield has Josh and Snively stand across from each other and call Buddy to their side. Snively calls Buddy, pulling out a rolled-up newspaper and swatting it against his hand, a weapon that he would abuse Buddy up. Buddy charges to him furiously, biting his hand and tears up the newspaper before running back to Josh, the Framms winning the custody case. Snively is then arrested by the police charged with animal cruelty.